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It’s Ok to Not Be Ok.

(Pictured : David and his brother, Trevor. 1994)

It's ok not to be ok, especially around the holiday months.

As a community, I feel there is great need for more places where people can reach out for help. It’s important that these places are easily accessible, and that people can feel that they will be taken seriously if things get hard for them.

I am no stranger to the impact that mental health can have on a person and their family. In December of 2012, I lost my brother, my best friend – Trevor. Trevor struggled with mental health, and I wish that there had been more resources for him when he was hurting.

Since losing my brother, I have hoped that the stigma around mental health would lessen and more people could find and use good resources. I like checking in with my friends to make sure they’re doing ok and that they know they aren’t alone.

My friends were there for me when we lost Trevor, and I want them to know it’s a two way street. I want everyone to know how important it is to take mental health seriously. Check on each other.

Wouldn’t it be great if the schools had therapists on staff, or had all staff trained regularly like they do for first aid, but for mental health, on how to help anyone that might need it?

Anyone that finds the holidays and Christmas especially hard should know they’re not alone. I feel that pain every year, but it's ok and normal to also feel joy again. It’s new joy. It’s a different type of joy; you still wish they were part of it.

My journey since losing Trevor has been long and difficult, but I have come out stronger after the loss, pain and hurt. Don’t take your time with loved ones for granted. Keep checking in.

I talk with my family about how mental health is a big part of your overall health. It’s critical to be taking care of ourselves as a whole; not just physical health, or mental health, but our entire health.

Whatever your holiday season entails, I wish you good health and want you to know that it’s ok if you’re not ok.

Take good care of yourself and others.

- David Schell


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