How Mental Health Advocacy Can Help in Times of Tragedy

In a previous article, I wrote about my experiences as a recovery mentor and how it helped me. My motives were always simple: prevent someone else from hitting the rocks I once hit. But I see now how there’s a greater picture that goes beyond myself.

There was a recent mass shooting in Las Vegas at a music festival. Hundreds injured, many dead, countless bullets and fear. My heart goes out to those who suffered, were lost and those who are affected by this chaos in any way. It’s an incredibly heartbreaking thing to hear and see — innocent lives lost at the hands of someone who could have used a helping hand themselves.

These events are traumatizing and trigger many thoughts and emotions. We can lend a helping hand by donating to help the victims, talking to those who may have been triggered and continuing to advocate for mental health. But we can also lend a helping hand by simply being there for someone. We can lend a helping hand by continually being a beacon of hope and light to those who are overcome with darkness.

I write this article to honor those lost and those who are still traumatized from the events. But I also write this article to continue advocacy towards mental health. I started really advocating for body positivity, recovery and mental health because I felt there was a need to continually spread positivity and love in the hopes that one day it would overpower and encompass hate and fear in this world. I know that’s a long shot. I know that’s me being incredibly hopeful. I know I might seem like I’m missing the point because there are obviously more dire and immediate needs. But in times like these, it’s important for people to remember there is hope and help out there.

We all must remember that even if we aren’t the direct victims of this crime, we are human beings who share a world and should help lift each other up in times of need. To those affected by this crime, please seek and accept help given. Please know there are people out there wishing for your safety, success and happiness. Please know there is hope and love out there even when it feels like there’s nothing but fear and hate. To those lost in this horrid crime, you are forever remembered and honored in all our hearts. You will be the guiding light for those like me to help advocate for hope and love.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via artisteer

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

'This Is Us' Season Premiere Addresses Mental Health, Alcoholism and Obesity

Julia Wood is a Communications Fellow at RespectAbility and a senior at Emerson College. In Tuesday night’s premiere of season two of “This is Us,” viewers were reintroduced to the Pearson couple, Rebecca and Jack, played by Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore as well as “The Big Three” triplets: Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley) [...]

When PTSD Is a Result of Leaving the Safety of the NICU

Nearly six years have passed since our family was first introduced to the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis; I have struggled long and hard since with PPD/PTSD. A year or two after our twins were home from the NICU, I stumbled upon the studies showing an increased risk for PTSD in moms who spent [...]
Flowers with text that reads "Take The Mighty's 30-Day Challenge."

October's My Mighty Month Challenge: Realistic Apologies

A few years ago, I unexpectedly got sick. At the height of the doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, blood tests and scans, my mother called me and told me she wanted to send a message to my family, updating them as to my current health woes. “Fine,” I sighed, as I’m not usually one to share. [...]

How Helping People in Moments of Crisis Healed My Body and Mind

I was sitting in an infusion room at a hospital in Boston when the nurse, who was trying to insert my IV, asked me about the Crisis Text Line sticker on my laptop. Infusion rooms in hospitals are not fun places. Basically, they’re a bunch of sick people trying to get as comfortable as possible [...]