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Happy February... The Imprint, LLC "Changing Our Lives Through Impact" is one month in since its PRE-LAUNCH of the Mental Health Organization that seeks to be "the change we want to see". In preparation of the Official Business Launch, it is imperative to share that MENTAL HEALTH IS REAL. In many communities, especially minority communities, Mental Health tends to be frowned upon or looked at as "its not that big of a deal" Often times we hear things like "there ain't nothing wrong with you!" "just pray about it, you'll be fine", "I will give you a reason to think you're crazy if you keep it up". Although these are never the best responses or approaches in the "helping profession", they are many individuals REALITIES, which tends to lead to an increase in suicidal attempts, depression, anxiety, and much more. With such a STIGMA behind MENTAL HEALTH, our ultimate goal at THE IMPRINT, is to normalize the right that it is extremely okay to just not be okay... that we shouldn't have to hide behind a mask because our loved ones or close friends don't understand the emotions or feelings we may be tackling... that most importantly there a TRAINED PROFESSIONALS who are open and willing to help every individual work through these feelings, whether it be dealing with grief, trauma, anxiety, or simply just not knowing what you're going through- but knowing you don't feel like your normal self! Although there are many individuals who frown upon Mental Health and its reality, the truth is there are many people who are dealing with MENTAL HEALTH and just feel alone and unable to fully understand what they are feeling. Our goal is to change the stigma by normalizing needing help and seeking resources when necessary. At a young age, I myself was a product of many traumatic experiences which led me to having severe anxiety. Unknowingly, I would mask these feelings because of a fear that others might think something was wrong with me or not understand what I was feeling in certain situations. At the age of 19, I began to diagnose myself "social worker mindset" (you begin to just know what you are feeling even if you don't want to believe it) As I continued to flourish in my career, it felt that my anxiety increased. My fear or worry about my loved ones, peers, and relationships if I didn't hear from them increased and it was hard for me to sleep, eat or focus on specific tasks. Most times, I would cry out of fear that something bad had happened. Now at 26, I still suffer with anxiety, (with trigger awareness and coping skills in place) but I am okay and comfortable sharing my story because I know that to hide behind a mask would be detrimental to coping and understanding the woman I am today verses the little girl who I once was. I am happy that my personal experience with Mental Health and the need of support that came in different forms (which I learned was really mentorship) led to my development of The Imprint. I am excited to Launch officially in APRIL with hopes that the stigma most have on Mental Health can be minimized, that individuals can be educated on mental health and the resources available to them when needed, and that we can learn to support one another when it matters most! I hope to see you all in April and thank you for taking the time out to read my BLOG.... stay tuned for the March Madness blog. .

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