Back in October I was able to work on such an amazing project. It was seriously such a blessing that I was given this opportunity, because I have learned and gotten so much out of it, including so many new friends.
If you haven't heard of Ashley Sargeant, or her campaign "Don't Stop Sargeant", you need to stop reading this right now and go look it up. She is an incredible, amazing, sweet, wonderful, and strong individual. I have so many good things to say about Ashley. We met a couple years ago when we were in the play "Charlotte's Web" together. We bonded one day while driving home and talking about mental health. Ashley told me all about how she suffered with anxiety. In fact a huge part of the reason I began getting more help with my anxiety (including getting on medication for it) was because of what she told me. I owe her a huge thanks for that. At that time I was still feeling very reserved about talking about mental health, especially my own. I started to realize that mental health isn't something to be ashamed of. It's something that NEEDS to be talked about. That's why I started speaking my voice out on it more and more.
When Ashley asked if I wanted to be apart of this project I immediately said "YES". I knew it was going to be scary but my passion, my drive, and one of my biggest goals is to break the stigma on mental illness and make sure that people get the help they need. If I can share my story and that helps one person, that means I'm making a difference. I didn't go too in depth on my personal struggle with mental health (especially as an adult) which is probably my biggest regret with my video, but when I was speaking the one thing I wanted to do, and make perfectly clear, was to let people know that there is help. That they do not need to be ashamed. That there are others who can empathize with what they are going through. That you're never alone. I really hope that is what comes across in my video with my message.
The group music video we did was one of the most empowering things I've ever been able to experience. We literally "broke" our stigmas in half... We showed that we are stronger than our illnesses, that we are fighters, and that even though we each have different mental illnesses we are more than that. Each one of these girls is so amazing. I got to personally hear each of their stories that day and I felt such an incredible love for each of them, and could see their strength. They have already helped so many people with their messages and I'm sure will continue to do so. If you have time I would encourage you to listen to each of their stories. It's amazing.
I hope that I have more opportunities to lend my voice to this cause. I'm never going to stop fighting. I'm never going to give up. I will always be working towards breaking this stigma.