Mental Health Reform Needs To Be Addressed All Of The Time

Mental Health Needs To Be A Priority Always, Not Just When Your Favorite Artist Or Celebrity Dies

A trendy hashtag memorializing celebrities is NOT the way we need to be addressing mental health.

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Over the weekend, Twitter and Instagram were flooded with posts dedicated to the late rapper, Mac Miller. #HappyBirthdayMacMiller started trending across many social media platforms on January 19th as fans and collogues memorialized what would have been the rappers 27th birthday. Miller passed away in September of 2018 of an accidental drug overdose.

Unfortunately, Mac Miller isn't the only public figure who we've lost due to substance abuse. Over the last few years, addiction has taken some of the most notable names in the entertainment industry.

Michael Jackson.

Tom Petty.

Lil Peep.

Prince.

Whitney Houston.

Corey Monteith.

Not only is substance abuse taking our idols and inspirations away, but suicide is too. In the last few years alone, we have seen many of our favorite Hollywood icons lose their battle with their inner demons.

Robin Williams.

Anthony Bourdain.

Avicii.

Chester Bennington.

Chris Cornell.

Kate Spade.

Millions of people live with mental illness and struggle with substance abuse daily. The stigma that surrounds mental health and substance abuse forces those who struggle with it to hide out of shame. 47,173 people commit suicide each year. 72,000 people overdose each year.

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S., 43.8 million people, are diagnosed with a mental illness in a given year. Nearly 1 in 5 youth are diagnosed with a severe mental illness at some point during their life. If we know that mental illness plagues the US, why aren't we doing more to create resources for those who need them most?

Why do we only talk about mental health reform when our Hollywood idols end their lives?

Why do we only acknowledge the tumultuous cycle of substance abuse after someone famous overdoses?

Hundreds of people are dying from these illnesses every day. The lack of resources for those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and struggle with substance abuse is not going to fix itself every time you take to Twitter with #RIPMacMiller. So many people involved in your life on a day-to-day basis are living with mental illness. Anxiety. Depression. Bipolar Disorder. OCD. PTSD.

The way that we need to approach mental illness and substance abuse in the United States must start with the acknowledgment of common stigmas that those diagnosed are afraid of being associated with.

These stigmas leave people feeling ashamed for something that is entirely out of their control as if they are personally to blame for not "trying" hard enough. This weight that often comes along with mental health stigmas is one of the primary reasons that people refuse to seek treatment for mental illness and substance abuse. We must do our part to debunk these common stigmas.

Instead of posting an Instagram photo captioned '#RIPChester', take to your social media platforms to inform your followers about the mental health issues that Chester Bennington referenced in some of his most famous songs. Instead of captioning a Facebook photo of your Kate Spade handbag collection '#RIPKateSpade', share with your friend's suicide prevention hotline numbers and substance abuse resources. Instead of watching Anthony Bourdain's', Parts Unknown, and tweeting '#RIPAnthonyBourdain' as a tribute to what an inspiration he was, take to Twitter to address the drug abuse and alcoholism that many public figures struggle with.

Check in on your friends. Talk publicly and openly about mental health. Educate yourself. Help educate others. Show compassion. Encourage and empower your friends who are struggling to seek help.

Trendy hashtags paying respects to your favorite actors, artists, singers, and designers are not the way we need to be addressing mental health. Join the fight in preventing the stigmatization of mental health and substance abuse by using social media to educate your friends and family about these issues.

It's okay not to be okay.

National Suicide Prevention/Substance Abuse Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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7 Lyrics From Miley Cyrus' 'SHE IS COMING' Perfect For Your Next Instagram Caption

We all love Miley, so why not make your next Instagram caption from her?

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Miley Cyrus' new album “SHE IS COMING" is a banger for sure. Her lyrics always are perfect for Instagram captions and her latest drop is no exception.

Here are seven lyrics from "SHE IS COMING" perfect for your next Instagram caption.

1. “All that you are is all I ever need.”

2. “We didn’t come this close for nothing, We didn’t come this far for nothing.”

3. “Turn up your gratitude, Turn down your attitude.” 

4. “It’s better than where we came from, I think we should both stay.”

5. “Oh look at her, she got the power.” 

6. “I’m nasty, I’m evil. Must be something in the water or that I’m my mother’s daughter.” 

7. “Even in my darkest place, You love me the most.”

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