Dear friends,

Happy World Health Day!

According to the World Health Organization, depression was ranked the third leading cause of the global burden of disease in 2004 and will move into the first place by 2030.

Depression affects 350 million men, women and children around the world. It impacts their ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, and can have a devastating impact on their ability to earn a living, and their relationships with family and friends. When left untreated, depression can lead to suicide.
Talking about depression and other mental health conditions is the first step in destigmatizing mental illness and encouraging people to get the lifesaving treatment and support they need. 

ASHA International is proud to support the World Health Organization's Campaign, Depression: Let's Talk to promote awareness about depression and encourage people struggling with depression to get the help they need. In celebration of World Health Day on April 7th, my colleague Bekah and I will be presenting LET'S TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, a mental health education program to engage students at Canby High School in a conversation about mental health and wellness.
Please start the conversation about mental health in your home, at work and in the community. Together, we can create a world of understanding, compassion and inclusion where every man, woman and child struggling with a mental health condition will find the love and support they need to create a healthy, meaningful, productive life.

Wishing you wellness,
Founder & President
ASHA International
LIVING WELL by Bekah Miles
For me, wellness is being your best self. Each one of us knows how difficult it is to act and behave kindly, to not dwell on others' judgement of us, or to keep up with our healthy diets and exercise schedules. Living "well" isn't exactly easy; it is built up of small or important routines, people, or interactions. There is no one correct way to live well; it is about finding what works for you and using it. For example, I live well when I surround myself with supportive people. They keep me accountable to make sure I am keeping up with my therapy, or making sure I am getting enough social interaction. For others, they may not have people to surround themselves, or may not want people around much at all; maybe they live better in solace, perhaps meditating or praying. Some benefit the best with nonhuman companions such as dogs or cats. Whatever the way to wellness, what is important is that it is your own. My wellness looks like daily medication, weekly therapy, monthly visits with my psychiatrist, and fitting as many coping skills into my day as possible, such as spending copious amounts of time with my animals, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, writing or blogging, baking, shopping, singing, and working. Many people's path to wellness will differ from mine, but that's alright. Keep searching for what works best for you, and use it.

Bekah Miles is a member of ASHA International's Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives Speakers Bureau and the winner of the 2016 HopeBringer Award.
Bekah's Message of Hope

April 7, 2017
Let's Talk About Mental Health
Mental Health Education Program
Presented by Bekah Miles & Gayathri Ramprasad
Canby High School, Canby, OR

April 24, 2017
The Power of Sharing Your Story
Keynote presented by Gayathri Ramprasad
PEERPOCALYPSE Conference, Seaside, OR

May 3, 2017
Be the Hope 
Keynote presented by Gayathri Ramprasad
If It's History, It's Our Story.
Diversity Day Presented by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare
Melody Ballroom, Portland, OR

May 12, 2017
Living Proof: A Mental Health Advocacy through Storytelling Workshop
LifeQual Center for Health & Healing, Beaverton, OR
Workshop Facilitator: John Capecci
June 1, 2017
Storytelling Saves Lives
Presented by Gayathri Ramprasad
This is My Brave Leading Ladies  Women's Mental Health Symposium
National Press Club,  Washington D.C.

Stories have the power to inform, inspire and transform lives. 
If you have a recovery story, please  submit your story today. Your story will  give HOPE to people struggling with mental health issues around the world, and inspire them to recover and rebuild a healthy, meaningful, productive life.
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