Last week, I advocated for a cultural shift for how we laugh about mental illness – and ended with the hopes that ending stigma and promoting health could go viral. There may be just the blog to open wide this conversation now, as I came upon Mood Sponge earlier this morning.
I’m sure there are many blogs dedicated to mental health, and the spotty writer like myself who throws in the topic occasionally. What makes Mood Sponge particularly compelling? Kelly is a young adult and she’s promising a very vulnerable project that shares people’s narratives. From the opening post:
“I have started Mood Sponge in an attempt to create a forum where we can talk truthfully and openly about mental illness. I think it is so important to talk about it publicly. In today’s society, there is such a stigma surrounding mental illness that people are afraid to talk about it, and often try not to even think about it. This ‘if we ignore it maybe it will go away’ attitude is not working and will never work…
“Another reason I decided to start a blog about mental illness is that I don’t think there are enough young people writing about it.”
Mood Sponge will be a conversation I anticipate eagerly because the path to progress comes from exactly this kind of dialogue and sharing. My work in LGBT ministry has cemented my belief that ‘coming out’ is an essential step to social change; otherwise how can we account for the rapid pace of equality in just a few decades? In a similar way, I agree with Kelly that it’s time to ‘come out’ about our mental health – to cast away stereotypes, reveal the pervasiveness of illness in our social networks, and gain equal stature for mental issues alongside physical health.
My prayers to Kelly – and please, pop over to Mood Sponge as this project gets going!