Here we are, still within the first month of 2013. A few days into it, but it is never too late to get something like this rolling.
Something like what? Why, it’s time to unveil the Blog for Mental Health 2013 Badge! Lulu started this amazing campaign last year, and it caught on like wildfire with mental health bloggers everywhere. They proudly took the pledge, spread the word to other bloggers, and displayed the badge prominently on their blogs. You’ve seen it in our sidebar, I’ve seen it on nearly every mental health site I visit. It has truly been an unprecedented show of solidarity.
Lulu wrote in her original post:
Many people suffering from Bipolar Disorder do so in silence. Prior to this blog, I could have included myself. This blog is meant for others to experience living with this disorder the way I, and many others, do. It is also for others to find their voice here and to know that they are not alone in their struggle. Lastly, it is to encourage dialogue and community between bipolar bloggers.
Sometimes it’s interesting. Sometimes it’s sad and at other times it sounds crazy. Grab the pendulum, and hold on for dear life. Otherwise, you just might end up in the pit.
But she wanted to include all of us dealing with mental health issues, because it isn’t always as simple as one diagnosis, and even when it is, we are all still in this together, and we are stronger when we stand up as one.
This morning, I found myself interested in an official blogging project to raise awareness for mental health education. I sifted through Google for a while, unable to find anything like it. And I thought, “Why don’t I start one?” It would be easy! All I would need to do is produce a graphic and some instructions.
This year, through her own blog, Sunny With a Chance Of Armageddon (if you haven’t noticed or been notified, she has moved her home base), and right here through Canvas as well, she gave us the chance to look through her amazing creations, and vote on which badge we as a community wanted to represent Blog For Mental Health 2013.
There were a number of popular choices, but one clear winner stood out amongst them. So, without further ado, the badge that was selected by you for this year’s Blog for Mental Health campaign. . .
Now here is where we get to the meat of how this amazing (yet simple) campaign works.
First, so you know, this isn’t an award. I want to make that plain, because I know that many bloggers feel that the blogging awards passed along, however well-intentioned, sometimes have a bit of a “chain mail” feel to them. No, this campaign is something else entirely. As introduced by its creator, it goes like this:
1.) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″.
I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.
2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.
You can consider this an open pledge, so feel free to link to A Canvas Of The Minds and this post!
3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.
(Note: This is the original piece written by Lulu last year.)
I have been symptomatic of Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety for most of my life. I was incorrectly diagnosed with MDD [Major Depressive Disorder] in my teens, and suffered in silence. After my son was born in 2008, I went on to experience a severe relapse in symptoms considered to be postpartum psychosis. Several months later, I sought treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II.
That was almost three years ago now. Today, I am experiencing the longest stable state I’ve ever had, going on three months now. I am still hesitant to say that I am in remission.
This pledge is my opportunity to commit to mental health awareness. I can publicly display this badge to instantly tell my audience what this is all about. And, I can encourage others within the mental health community that have a Dx to do the same.
4.) Pledge five others, and be sure to let them know!
I am pledging five of my fellow bloggers who have stood with me, and have proven their mettle in my eyes as mental health bloggers.
(Note: With this piece, we are pledging more than five; we begin this year by pledging all of our Canvas bloggers.)
Alice, of aliceatwonderland
Soul Survivor, of Bipolar For Life
Bold & Indie, of Bold & Indie
DeeDee, of Disorderly Chickadee
Sailor, of Hello Sailor
Ruby, of I Was Just Thinking. . .
James, of James Claims
Lunch Sketch, of Lunch Sketch
Monday, of Manic Monday
ManicMuses, of Manic Muses
Paz, of Melancholically Manic Mouse
Summer Solstice Girl, of Summer Solstice Musings
Lulu, of Sunny With a Chance Of Armageddon
Angel, of The Mirth of Despair
The Quiet Borderline, of The Quiet Borderline
Sarah Ellen, of The Seascapechronicles’ Blog
As mentioned above, if you happen upon this without being pledged, we still pledge you. Feel free to take the pledge! Promote awareness!
5.) And, as something novel for 2013, Lulu and I ask one more thing of you.
As you may have noticed, Canvas does not keep an official blogroll, outside of links to our authors’ personal blogs. For something new and special to introduce Blog For Mental Health 2013, and really build a sense of community — and show everyone how many of us there are, and how strong we are, coming together — we are launching a Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll! So, in addition to linking back to the person who pledged you, please include the link to this original post in your piece. As this gets passed along, click here and leave a comment containing the link to your pledge, and we will put you on our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll page! Show the world our strength, show them our solidarity, show them what we are made of. Take the Blog for Mental Health pledge and proudly display the badge on your blog!
And may we all have a happy, healthy 2013!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Important note from Ruby:
Please, everyone: If you want to be included on our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll, and have your post shared by us via facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, you must leave a comment on the page with a link to your Blog For Mental Health post specifically. Make sure to read the original Blog For Mental Health 2013 launch post, it explains the concept behind this project and gives you an idea of what your post should contain.
I really want to include everyone, but a comment on the blogroll page with the link to your Blog For Mental Health 2013 post is necessary for this (just a link to your site doesn’t help me!). Thank you so much for participating, and for helping me out here by following these three simple steps:
- Read the Blog For Mental Health 2013 original launch post.
- Write a post of your own that follows the directions for making your Blog For Mental Health 2013 pledge.
- Copy and paste the link to that specific post into a comment on the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll page. You won’t see your comment, but I will comment back to you on that post on your blog so you know you’ve been added and had your post shared by us.
Also, as you write your posts, please make sure you pass this message along. You’ll want the people whom you pledge to have their posts shared through Canvas as well!
© Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
As a bipolar blogger myself, I am tempted to take the pledge, but I realize that my blog is not particularly dedicated to the purpose of mental health only, so I will not, because I do not want to be misleading. But I am definitely supporting this great campaign! I have long been thinking that I needed to rewrite my about page and be more specific about my mood disorder, because I have found it very empowering to share openly and help others fight the stigma.
I am going to add this task to my list, and hopefully follow through soon! and hopefully add the badge to the edited page.
Whatever your reasons for blogging, we are grateful that you are supportive of the campaign. I myself didn’t take it last year, because I felt my blog was about too many things in addition to mental health. But if you update you page and take the pledge, make sure to let us know so we can get you on the blogroll!
One way or another, all the best to you in helping fight stigma! It is very empowering, and I’m so glad to have you in the fight!
A post with so much to give and inspire. Thank for sharing this. Beautiful and inspiring.
Thank you for visiting, and for finding so much good here. 🙂
This is such a great idea. I have bipolar myself (well actually schizoaffective disorder) and like to blog about that and my creativity which I often find linked in strange ways! Thanks again!
I’m glad you like the campaign. Anything we can do to raise awareness, erase ignorance, and destroy the stigma surrounding mental illness is so important, and it seems like you have found your own unique way to do that!
This brings my writing project to you, with love from Ireland 😉 I was diagnosed manic depressive and have bouts of social anxiety. I have begun a writing project called Pen Relief in which I hope to help those in crisis, please have a look at my aim and try and support this if you have time. Much respect GeeCee
Hi, GeeCee, I’ve had a look at your project. While I can see why it would be important for you and your mental health, and quite useful to others, I don’t really feel that it touches upon the concept of our Blog For Mental Health campaign. Blog For Mental Health was created so that those who write about living with mental illness regularly would have a way to feel connected, to show their support for and solidarity with one another, and to actively work to abolish the stigma that is associated with mental illness. But I wish you good luck with what you are doing.
Thank you, best wishes GC
Best wishes to you as well.
How do I too sign up to make the pledge
Hi Katie! I’m so glad you’re interested. All you have to do is write a blog post following the instructions above, and then leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can get you on our blogroll!
I’m glad you think so. If you’re interested in writing a post, please be sure to leave a comment with the link to your post included so I can get you on our blogroll. All the very best to you.
Thank you, Ruby, for putting this together. Good idea. The only concern I have is regarding having to pledge five other bloggers. As you said, it does give it a “chain mail” feel that I’m very uncomfortable with. I swore off doing those entirely for that reason.
Hi! I understand what you mean, and other bloggers have expressed similar concerns. Some of them have solved it by leaving it as an open pledge to all of their readers, some of them have just chosen not to pledge anyone at all. I think both options are absolutely great ones, if you’re interested in taking the pledge yourself without putting any kind of burden on anyone else specifically. The pledging part was more just a way to let people know that it’s going on, and definitely a point that needs some kind of tweaking next year.
So if you do want to write a post yourself, absolutely feel free to disregard that step! Thank you for the feedback, too. It’s always great to know what is and isn’t working for people!
Hi! I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 bipolar disorder and I support this kind of awareness campaign. However, my blog topics are quite varied so I would not qualify for your badge. I want to keep it that way because my blog has been my outlet for everything about me – the good, the bad, the ugly, the technical and the whimsy. I would not want my being bipolar at the forefront and be known as the bipolar guy. It’s just one aspect of my identity. But I applaud your efforts and through you, I can increase my awareness of my condition and of others as well.
This is just wonderful. We should be talking about this, often. I am trying to do my bit writing about mental health and therapy from the psychologist’s perspective, but it’s never going to be as helpful as a resource like this that brings people together to share with and learn from each other. Keep talking.
What is it like?having the ability to “blogg” your thoughts in a manner others can understand.not being attacked,feared?whats it like,having support that wont turn later to destroy you?is that real?i imagine it does for some,i wonder what makes it some do and others,kinda like me cant ever find or have.oh well,such is the ugly that is life
I am interested in taking this pledge, but I am bipolar and my focus is leaving something to be desired today. I’m not sure I understand pledging five other bloggers. I don’t know five other mental health bloggers. Can you clear that up for me?. Also, I am not commenting from my bipolar blog, fyi. Thank you for the help.
I suffer with depression, my doctor thinks I’m borderline bipolar. I often blog about my personal mental health in the hopes to raise awareness for young people that suffer with mental health problems. I can’t wait to take this pledge when I get home from work!
@mintedmoose thanks for pledging!
I found out I had been struggling with what can be called “borderline bipolar”. The name to me doesn’t matter so much as the experience. I’m glad you came by so I can see what you’ve written and others can too! 🙂
I would love to participate in this project. I clicked the badge on someone’s blog to get here. Unfortunately, I can’t pledge 5 people who specifically supported my mental health blogging. There are some who responded about depression and one about bipolar, but I’ve been doing a lot of posts from writing challenges, so my mental health pops up, but I feel I should say more. When I read blogs about mental health, often the person has a of support network, or access to mental health care. All I can add is my frustration of not being able to get any health due to health insurance restrictions and the need to use public transport. I use writing as my therapy, and in Feb. started working with a cognitive behavioral therapist. She’s helping, but I do need to have a psychiatrist look at the meds I taking (only one for bipolar; keep trying anti-ds, but none really work in my case due to bipolar 2)
Right now, I’m in a bad space — I have mixed hypomanic episodes, or prolonged episodes. I don’t get the “highs” but when I’m in a, I full blown hypomanic episode, I can’t sleep, my mind races more than usual, I’m more apt to buy something that isn’t in our budget, or hoard a food item. I get very angry and throw things, push things off tables or desks. I’m getting better at getting myself out of these destructive episodes. Luckily, I don’t throw things at people.
Thanks for giving me a chance to say something about my bipolar 2 during a bad spell. I wish I could participate in your project. I will certainly try to blog more about mental health.