Why Professional Help is So Important

My name is Zaniah Sharkey and I am here to tell you why I believe getting professional help is so important.

The answer is simple; it’s the only thing that will work.

My whole life my family has always had a connection to mental health. Over the last two years my mom and aunt have become the co-chairs on the board of The Mental Health Association (MHA) of Monmouth County. Over the last ten years, I have attended many events and fundraisers.

Due to my family’s affiliation to MHA I realized not only am I volunteering for hours but I am volunteering to make a change and learn valuable information. Information I find is intriguing yet RARELY spoken about.

When Into the Light (ITL) first began I reached out to see how I could get involved. I loved that I could help end the stigma through the ITL movement.

Losing one of my best friends was a wake up call that we cannot shy away from the mental health conversation.

For almost an entire year of my life I’d see my best friend daily. After school, sports events, parties, sleepovers, and FaceTimes. All of a sudden I was replaced by a boy.

I got mad and jealous and I thought “why can she just put a 2 week old relationship over a 52 week one?” Never could I come up with an answer. So I finally asked and the answer forever changed my life.

My best friend was suicidal and pushed us away so she could leave and not feel she was a burden.

I felt she should have told me since I had “mental health” written all over me but she felt she couldn’t, she was vulnerable the stigma. Unfortunately, it’s only talked about after we lose someone.

This needs to CHANGE NOW! Talk about it now!

You may feel uncomfortable listening but think about how uncomfortable someone suffering feels in their OWN SKIN. The more we talk about it means it will become a habit. Once it’s a habit it will be hard to break! DON’T BREAK THE HABIT! BREAK THE STIGMA!