Action Alerts /Congrats to New Richmond News for hopeful letter on mental health
Ninette Nolen wrote a letter to the editor of the New Richmond News and shared what life is like for her, someone living with Bipolar Type II. Nolen explains that she does what any other normal person does in their life. Nolen attends church, goes to the grocery store and the library.
"You might not know that I have a serious and persistent mental illness unless I've told you," Nolen wrote. "You might not even know when things are getting rough, but believe me, I have an incredibly painful and life threatening illness."
Nolen goes on to write that mental health challenges are just like any other disorder and require treatment.
"When my arthritis acts up, I need to review my self-care plan, see my doctor to review my medications and think about restarting therapy (PT). Likewise with my depression, I may still need hospital services for either problem," wrote Nolen.
And despite her struggles, Nolen describes being in a place where she is "happier, healthier and hopeful."
"Hope is crucial to recovery, and a powerful motivator," explained Nolen, who also spreads hope by speaking to other peers.
Nolen's story is not uncommon. However, stories like hers are not often featured in the media. Nolen speaks openly about her challenges, but lives a regular life and is aware of what she needs to do to maintain her wellness. Often, mental health consumers are portrayed as dependent people who aren't equipped to take control of their health. Nolen is one example of why that is not necessarily true. Not only is she conscious of what she needs to maintain her wellness; she is willing to empower other consumers with peer support.
Thank the New Richmond News for running a hopeful story.
Dear Editor and Ms. Nolen,
Thank you for such a hopeful and honest letter about living with bipolar disorder. Often, people living with bipolar disorder are portrayed as deranged and violent in the media. Ms. Nolen, your story shows that many people diagnosed with bipolar disorder have regular lives, are good people and give back to the community.
Thank you New Richmond News team for allowing Ms. Nolen to share her story. You could have ran a more sensationalized piece about mental health but you chose to show that having a mental health issue shouldn't deprive one of normalcy in their life. Just like Ms. Nolen noted, a mental health problem is just any other health problem. You have to take care of yourself, just like a person with arthritis, cancer, diabetes, etc.
New Richmond News, please continue to feature such inspirational stories. And Ms. Nolen, please continue to inspire others living with mental health challenges and give them hope.