#5: Opening A New

To wake up with days, or weeks even. When everything is crashing and have a rollercoaster of emotions or just a feeling of a standstill. Where all you can do is just breathe in these thick clouds of anguish to keep the alienating thoughts from venturing into your mind, as if it was a spider, creepily crawling up your arm, trying desperately to tell you something. You try batting it away, but it keeps on moving. It would do anything, to even go as far to enter your ear drum and whisper these painful and yet dulling reminders. Many things can come from this spider, one wonder everyone is afraid.

Mental Health Conflicts
My topic has a wide spectrum of conflicts. One mostly of the rising numbers of mental health cases in Vermont. Most people who have this, don’t even get the proper treatment they need and go on with feelings that usually are just brushed aside. This is a combination of people being either afraid to ask for help/embarrassed or believe it’s not a big deal and they can go on and get better, without professional help.
{Site that shows these sadistic’s- http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/State_BHBarometers_2014_2/BHBarometer-VT.pdf}

While having conversations with peers, I find that work load from school gets them down in the dumps and stressed out of their minds. I too feel this new concept of work that our schools bring down on us, but for the most part it’s to help us ‘grow’ academically, sort of a new learnings type that were not used to. Which can work for some, but usually gets people feeling tired and stressed out. (I know, Twenty-one Pilots, right)
Lastly from what I have just seen randomly on the Internet is people promoting mental health disorders. It’s as if people think it’s either ‘funny’ or amusing at least to see or help people suffer. I know though that their is people who, themselves have a mental disorder, but try help others become like them because they’ve asked. Take an example of anorexia. They have created these Pro Ana websites to help people become ‘skinny’. And from how our society is right now, with the models and different body types that are more desirable than others. I guess you wouldn’t blame them. The people who have this disorder have partial credit of this, but social media and the ideas of other people’s beauty is what affects this the most. And from experience it’s hard to get away from negative influences, so your being sucked into this black hole even though you want nothing to do with it. In reality though, no one is at fault because we don’t need to blame everything on someone. It’s call a ‘mental’ health disorder for a reason. It a long unexplained cause for people.

Other Groups And Organizations
One organization I found that goes well along with my topic is Walk in Our Shoes. In my last blog #4 Finding Out Why I talked about this website out they’ve helped so many people recover and help others with mental health and I like how they portray mental health as a normal thing that anyone and everyone can go through.

What Unites People
People come together when there is something emotional. Meaning it can be from the most sad, depressing, and heart wrenching moment to the most infuriating. Mental health is a sad category, but for all kinds of people are all kinds of emotions.
The saddening part is how this affects so many people, and people who do can get this. It can be frustrating because you could of lost someone to mental health or it could be that your fed up with mental health issues and just want to help bring an end to this ‘madness’. It could be a happy get together, even because someone you may love or yourself has or had gone through or survived and your celebrating and bring awareness to this.

What Divides People
This is from what I gather in research. I know I sound petty and ungrateful in the following sentence in the next paragraph, but I can explain. So read with caution if you have strong political views or just get triggered with different debate topics that I cover and are touchy ones, right now in social media.

Our society doesn’t get the concept of forgiveness, excepting differences, or having people break their ‘norms’ -like with the first paragraph and how my peers are upset that we now have to change our learning style and use a different type of grading and studying format- For instance, how the 49’s got back lash for not standing durning the national anthem~ I know it stands to show we are a united country and that we should pay tribute to the people who have served or are, but does it really matter? We as a nation, The United States, have made horrible and reckless accusations and comments of other country’s and people, yet expect total and utter respect towards us. And this goes for mental health as well. The most part of our society doesn’t know how to handle mental health and were given false information from some media saying it’s cool, or trending. This is what this program, WtS, was made for. To help people in our community and spread the word about a serious issue, which I plan on doing. When people go out and find someone who is clearly having a rough time, they walk away or try to handle the situation, but then back off once their told the ‘I’m fine’ line. Though I know a numerous amounts of people who would do anything to help or cheer up another fellow, but a lot of people still aren’t properly educated or in such a good shape them selves in mental speaking.

Http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/State_BHBarometers_2014_2/BHBarometer-VT.pdf. Rep. Government, n.d. Web. <http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/State_BHBarometers_2014_2/BHBarometer-VT.pdf>.

“What Is Mental Health? on Walk In Our Shoes.” Walk In Our Shoes. California’s Mental Health Movement, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2016. <http://walkinourshoes.org/what-is-mental-health>.


Word Count- 1046

Rex Ross

4 Responses to “#5: Opening A New

  • Bill Rich
    6 years ago


    Really appreciate that you accessed multiple sources to learn more. Also appreciate that you cited them, though I’m uncertain what the story is you excerpted at the opening (what a great extended metaphor: spider as self doubt / insecurity).

    Here’s what I’m thinking / wondering:

    1. So great that you have a topic that moves you. If you feel the tug of ongoing interest and a sense that something must be done, then you’re on the right trail!

    2. One think we’ve learned from the last two WtS cohorts: the more specific the audience (the people you will contact and try to persuade) and the more clear you are about your specific purpose (what exactly the change is that you expect to make), the more powerful and effective the experience. Said another way, if students take on too big of an audience and don’t focus on a particular change they want to make, then things unravel.

    3. It’s time for you to begin thinking more specifically: who is your intended audience? If it’s anyone who ever has will experience mental health issues (or who knows someone who experiences mental health issues), then you’re going to bogged down in the hugeness of that topic. Think more specifically. What is a audience / group you can target that is small enough that you can access / impact them?

    4. It’s also time to think more specifically about your purpose: what exactly will you change? Be specific. Rather than, “I want to make sure people are more informed about mental health issues”, be more focused: “I want to make sure clinically depressed high school students are better understood by their schools and families.” These are just examples, but they give you a feel for how focused you’ll need to become in order to really experience the power and pleasure of getting traction with your audience / purpose.

    So, feel free to keep exploring broadly, but know: you’re going to have to make some choices about precisely who you’re audience will be and what impact you hope to make on them.

    One more thing. Art has an amazing way of helping heal people. I loved that piece of fiction, and wonder what kind of collections of literature and other types of art exist out there to help heal / inform people. Could be an interesting thing to learn more about. Maybe creating some kind of resource that collects art that heals / informs about a particular mental health issue could be an approach?

    So excited to see how your ideas evolve!


    Bill Rich

  • Bill Rich
    6 years ago


    Had two afterthoughts.

    1. Blogpost #6 (making and posting a mind map) is a great place for you to explore all the possibilities that relate to mental health. Even though I encouraged you to get ready to be more specific about your audience and purpose, it’s okay to make a mind map that explores all your options. (Unless you desire to dive into a more specific audience / purpose now).

    2. Please consider contacting a mental health professional in the next few days to ask if you can meet with them in two or three weeks to share your vision and ask them a few questions: What services already exist for the audience and purpose I’m serving? Any recommendations for readings / resources that would help deepen my understanding of the story of the issue I’m wanting to influence? Who else would you recommend I speak with to become wiser about the issue / topic / story I’m pursuing?
    I have a friend who is a practicing therapist in the Burlington area. He would be a good place to start, though maybe you know someone already?

    3. Reaching and contacting people by phone and email to set up conversations can be intimidating, AND it’s the lifeblood of WtS: making contact with the people / characters in the story we’re pursuing.

    Let me know what you think. You can email me (redhouselearning@gmail.com) or post here. I think you should go ahead and draft a 3-5 sentence email (to send to whomever you decide to contact). Share it with me as a draft, and if need be, I can offer a couple pointers.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Bill Rich

  • Hi Rex,

    I really agree that especially at our age, mental health is almost thought of as a “joke”. If someone tries to make something look really nice or really neat, they might get a snarky comment like, “OCD much?” Mental health is not something to be taken lightly, and I think it’s great that you both understand that and are trying to fix that.


    • Hi Emily,

      Sorry I couldn’t get back sooner, but I definitely do find a lot of people joke around with mental health. And as you said with my age group it’s a problem at times.


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