FREE stuff

Get all the FREE stuff you can. That's my plan. Especially in regard to learning how to handle and manage stress and chronic illness.

Knowledge gives us power over maladies. Practicing wellness develops resiliency. Think this sounds overly optimistic?

Well, look at it this way: We teach children to eat protein and veggies before dessert. People with RA (like me) exercise to keep our joints healthy. Diabetes education teaches controlled consumption of carbohydrates. Cancer patients are advised to watch their sugar intake. You get the idea. Most of the stuff we do to stay well is FREE!

1. FREE Walking. Basic self-care skills apply to alleviating the symptoms of mental illness. Would you be surprised to learn that the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that "exercise is vital for maintaining mental fitness?" Vital means necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something. So - not optional.

2. FREE Support: Check out NAMI Family Support and NAMI Connection.

3. FREE Education: Have you ever heard of a MOOC? The cool thing about MOOCs is that you can sign up for free and simply audit a class - or just watch all the videos - and you can also choose to take MOOCs for credit. I took Th Social Context of Mental Health and Illness via University of Toronto for FREE five years ago and it is fabulous! Understanding Drugs and Addiction via King's College in London is mind blowingly awesome - they keep an actual frozen human brain bank for research!  The University of Warwick offers a course on Literature and Mental Health that focuses on the work of ReLit, which is researching how people are using poetry and prose for improving their own health.

4. FREE Info: My personal favorite sites to find information on postvention, mental health, resiliency, and addictions are (apologies for all the acronyms) AFSP, TREVOR, DBSA, NAMI, WMRLC, MAYO CLINIC, NIMH, SAMHSA, IASP, ASH, IPS and NAA.

Also, Didi Hirsch publishes an Attempt Survivor Support Group Manual that at least one local therapist in my town is using. You have to call the number in the link and ask for it.

There's so much free info out in the world today that there's no reason to sit and wonder about something, or wait for an expert to come teach you. Go out and get it!