May Is Mental Health Month

Happy May! It’s sunny and getting warmer here in Philly, which is amazing. It’s incredible how much difference a little sun and warmth make, at least to me. While I can certainly battle depression on the brightest, warmest days (because it’s an illness, which doesn’t care about the weather forecast), I usually feel significantly worse in the short, cold days of winter when it’s difficult to even go outside for fresh air. So I’m super excited for the weather to finally be turning.

I haven’t blogged in a little while. I’ve been trying to get my sh*t together, reorganize my thoughts, plus I’ve been traveling in Greece. Side note: if you ever get the chance to go to Greece, go. It’s a gorgeous place, the people are the friendliest, the food is the freshest, and …. just everything about it. You can check out pics on our Instagram.

But I digress. May is Mental Health Month. A cause near and dear to my heart, as most of you know.  Every day my brain wages a battle against me, and every day I win, even if sometimes just barely. I am the one in five adults in the US that has a mental illness. Specifically, I am one of the 0.4-1% of the US population with cyclothymia. There is little known about written disorder, and it’s difficult to find others who have it. It also tends to be pushed aside as “not as big a deal”, which anyone who’s dealt with the rapid cycling nature of the mood cycles knows is inaccurate. The lack of information and difficulty finding others who have it has driven me to do two things – 1.) start my personal  blog over at Lilies and Elephants. 2.) Help others whose causes and/or organizations need exposure. Because nobody should feel like what they’re going through or fighting for is “not a big deal”.

This month, I’ll be focusing on mental health causes and organizations, as well as those causes that can be associated. Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Local organizations or projects raising funds or awareness for mental health.
  • Local business partnering with an organization to raise funds or awareness
  • Local, orgs, businesses, or even individual advocates looking to be more involved in mental health and related causes

We want to know about you, and help others to know about you! Zero cost, I promise. It’s just what we do here at SHP.

Questions you may have:

  • Does local mean Philly area where SHP is based? Nope. Just means not a big global or national  company. In other words, we’re a small org helping other small orgs/businesses.
  • Does it really cost nothing? Yep. Our thing is promoting your thing. Or you. Or your cause. That’s how we spread hope. Or at least one of the ways.
  • My cause/project could be related, but I’m not sure. How do I know if my cause/organization/business qualifies? Ask us! You can hit us up on email, Instagram, FB (we’re less frequent on there), or my personal account on twitter.
  • How can you help my cause/project/etc? We can help you tweet, post, and share. We also can add you under our Projects tab on the website, and if you’re interested, we can “interview” you for a blog post. We can also help you with additional ideas specific to your cause/project/event.
  • I know I/my company/my organization want to do something, but I’m not sure what. Can you help? We can. Or at least we can try. Reach out to us at the above.

Mental Health is important. It affects 20 percent of the US adult population, so the chances are, we all know someone affected – even if we don’t know it.  Let’s help erase the stigma and raise awareness together.


It’s Been A Busy Few Weeks

So, we’ve been a little behind in our blogging and posting, we know. We’ve been occupied with a home renovation and wedding planning (eek!), plus super busy work schedules,  which leaves us exhausted at the end of the day.  Throw in some chronic illness and viola! you fall behind on blogging.  And when you’re schedule is jam packed from sunrise until bedtime, you don’t get a ton of chances to travel around the region for Spread Hope Project photos.

Still, we don’t want to lose sight of our mission and vision, and we know that the way to stay true to those is through action.  Because as busy as life has been keeping us lately, we also want to be busy spreading hope to as many people in as many places as we can. So here’s what we’re going to be working on over the course of the next few months:

  • Spread Hope merchandise – more shirts, as well as some some non-clothing items
  • Sign-making day. We’ll be gathering friends, in person and virtually, to create Spread Hope signs. The more people who participate, the more hope we can spread, and they’ll be used in some additional upcoming projects.
  • Destination Day. Let’s see how many destinations we can reach!
  • Participating in the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Out of Darkness Overnight Walk for suicide prevention.  This is our fourth year walking, and we’re excited to head to DC for the walk this summer.
  • Growing our future destination list! Ok, so we’re always doing this, but we’ll be doing a push for suggested destinations.
  • Mental Health Month. May is Mental Health Month, and we’ll be participating in as many special campaigns as we can!

Each of these efforts is worthy of their own post, and we’ll definitely be sharing more in the near future. For now, wanted to let you know we’re still here and still committed – just a little extra tired and running a little ragged. Thank you for sticking with us!