Imagine a room full of people from all backgrounds, all religions, and all ages. Now let’s have you ask this group a few questions. You instruct everyone to close their eyes and raise their hand when a statement applies to them and continue to keep it raised until all the questions are read. Being the proctor of this experiment gives you a fly-on-the-wall perspective of what is about to occur. Eager participants fidget in their seats as the questions are read aloud.

•    Raise your hand if you have suffered from depression in the last 5 years
•    ¼ of the room raises their hand

•    Raise your hand if you have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or any other type of mental struggle
•    Only a few hands remain, now

•    Raise your hand if you have ever suffered (diagnosed or undiagnosed) from any or some of the following: addiction, self-harm, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, bullying.
•    Every hand in the room is now in the air. Some arms are shaky, others timid, but all are raised.

You stand in amazement at what you have just witnessed. All this time you spent thinking that you were the only person to deal with these feelings. Now, it is easy to see that we all have a lot in common. So many people struggle all alone, because they don’t have anyone to talk to, or they are ashamed, or they simply don’t know how to go about finding help. As a community it is our honor and responsibility to support each other. It all comes down to this; at the end of the day we need each other. If we want to heal, it requires leaning on one another. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You deserve to be happy, and you deserve to know that your life is worth living. Keep your chin up, buttercup.

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