Mental Illness Pledge

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The Mental Illness Pledge Explained

This is divided into two parts: One is written for the person with mental illness, and the second is written for caregivers of those with mental illness. So why have I written a pledge for those affected by mental illness? There is still so much stigma surrounding mental illness, self-injury and suicide. I want people to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Mental illness is just like a physical condition. The brain is an organ, just like the heart or an arm. You wouldn't hide your broken arm, so why hide your mental illness? I'm not saying that you share it with everyone you meet; you have to be wise. However, there is no reason to keep it a secret. There is no reason to avoid medication when there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medications can help restore those imbalances and improve mood, stop psychotic features and aid in psychotherapy. So here is the first part of the pledge:

The Person with Mental Illness

I pledge to:
  1. Treat my mind gently, so it's a safe place for my thoughts to reside.
  2. Tell someone when I am having signs and symptoms of my mental illness as described in my safety plan
  3. Tell someone when I am feeling suicidal, not keep it inside.
  4. Learn that it's okay to love myself, even though I have mental illness.
  5. Accept my mental illness as a part of my life
  6. Comply with my treatment plan and play an active role in designing it with my mental health care team.
  7. Educate myself about my mental illness and other health problems I have, so I can make informed decisions and be empowered.

The Caregivers

I pledge to:
  1. Listen without judging.
  2. Watch for signs and symptoms of mental illness and intervene before it reaches a crisis situation.
  3. Understand that my loved one's reactions aren't about me; this is about the mental illness.
  4. Get immediate assistance if the person is in crisis or suicidal. I will stay with my loved one until help arrives.
  5. Get professional assistance for dealing with my own feelings if I think it's necessary. Caring for someone with any kind of chronic illness is hard!
  6. Validate my loved one's feelings, even if they don't seem rational to me.
  7. Be compassionate, gentle and kind to myself and my loved one.
Did you take the pledge? Fill out the form below to contact me! Let me know if you took the pledge, if you have a question, or if this needs to be revised. Keep it positive!
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