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Speaking from personal experiences, I believe that as a whole society needs to start being more proactive towards mental health. I’ve had three different times where I was hospitalized and if I was more proactive before periods of crisis and my manic episodes things would have been a lot more different and a lot more safe for everyone involved.

In those moments where I’m going through a crisis the damage is already done where we (Myself and my love ones) are reacting to a very severe situation that I did not prepare for myself for. Now every time that I’ve been hospitalized there has been different situations where I am reacting in the right way but the outcome didn't lead to me avoiding a crisis. The lack of preparation to understand what to do during times of crisis put me in positions where it was hard to succeed. Don’t get me wrong I find it to be very important to learn how to be reactive with mental health and knowing the resources available for you if/when that time comes. My personal belief is a lot of damage and Trauma can be avoided if we as a society really prepared ourselves and started being proactive towards mental health.

Some different ways you can be proactive is being learn more about mental health and be open to the conversation. Whether you are dealing with something directly or indirectly, that is usually the first barrier to helping yourself or a love one down the road. After acceptance another great way to be proactive is educate yourself. Knowing certain signs and symptoms of mental heath is great, but also understanding resources and outlets for when you or some else does need to be reactive towards situation dealing with mental health. While I believe those two points are very important, for me plan in place those challenging times is the best thing we can all do to be proactive.

Now that’s easier said than done and requires a movement not only in your small circles but as a society it’ll require a lot of ongoing effort. Part of our mission statement at TEAM GARBO is to normalize the stigma behind mental health and a part of that has to do with being proactive around the conversation of mental health and finding out the resources you need before any crisis is on the horizon.

I’ll never lie to anyone and say that I haven’t had challenging times especially around my hospitalizations with my bipolar disorder. But if I am going to going to be completely honest I don’t think I would have struggled as much if I had a proactive outlook on mental health almost 10 years ago. Ever since I have adopted this proactive outlook it is truly made life easier to be reactive. Over a year ago, I was challenged with symptoms of another manic episode and since I was proactive and made a plan of action I knew exactly what to do, who do you call, and what medication to take. I’ll never know how severe those symptoms were going to get at that moment, but that is the whole point of being proactive so you can be reactive towards your mental health.

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