Progress has been slow with the treatment and perception of mental health and people who struggle with mental illness in our society. There is a lot of apathy and hostility from many people towards those who have mental illnesses. As a result, many who have mental illnesses lack support and understanding from others, making them feel alone. They also often lack the resources to get the treatment they need and deserve. These issues are part of what To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) aims to resolve.
There are many small steps that lead to bigger leaps of progress in this line of work. For example, one of our goals is to have counseling resources listed on our website for all fifty states, in addition to as many other countries as possible. One of my tasks is to search for potential resources for the website. Once I’ve found a promising candidate, I get in contact with such places and figure out if they’re a match for what we’re looking for in resources. If they are and they want to be listed, we can put them on the website. We only post resources once we’ve found three that work, and after we find contact information for support groups in the area in question. Finding this contact information is another one of my tasks. These are all small steps individually, but they lead to the big step of providing the resources for people struggling to get help.
Another example is the TWLOHA blog. A lot of steps go into getting blogs up on the website, including reviewing submissions, editing, posting on the website, and moderating comments. Ultimately, they lead to a lot of content being published online that fights stigma and helps make people feel less alone, which is exactly what TWLOHA strives to do. This is an extremely important part of what TWLOHA does, and it has, in my opinion, the greatest positive impact out of everything the organization does. Fighting loneliness and ignorance with words can be highly effective, and the TWLOHA blog is proof of that. Posts have been shared countless times and have offered new perspectives to a massive amount of people. All this comes from hard work put into gradual steps.