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Empowering Mental Health After the Storm: A Post-COVID Call to Action

As we emerge from the fog of the COVID-19 pandemic, a collective sigh of relief echoes across the globe. We conquered a formidable foe, adapted our lives, and developed vaccines at unprecedented speeds. However, in the wake of this triumph over a viral adversary, we find ourselves facing another silent crisis – the wreckage of our mental health. It's time to ask the difficult questions and address a reality we've been sidelining for far too long.


Shine a Light on Mental Health

Our mental health, often relegated to the shadows, must take center stage. It's not meant to be a backup stand-in that emerges only when the spotlight turns to it. Instead, it's the lead performer, the star of the show, and we must pay attention to it every day. For life, is in its very nature, is a challenging journey, that will always throw curveballs our way. For that is just part of the life package, but the real question is, when will we realize we have the power within ourselves to manage them?


Now the pandemic has laid bare the importance of mental well-being. We've witnessed firsthand the toll that isolation, uncertainty, and fear can take on our minds. Now, the challenge is not merely bouncing back but building resilience and fortitude for the long haul. It's about recognizing that our mental health is not a reactive response to crises but a powerful part of the full life experience.


But We Resist, Why?

However, I believe the resistance to prioritizing mental health often stems from a perceived lack of power. Many of us feel that addressing mental well-being is an elusive goal, a struggle too complex to navigate. But that is the furthest from the truth: each one of us holds the power to be a Mental Health Warrior. The term may sound grandiose, but it's grounded in the simple idea that we can take charge of our mental health and triumph over life's challenges.


I know this struggle all too well, as for years I struggled with bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and anxiety disorders. It brought me to a point where life seemed unbearable and I no longer wanted to be part of of it. But with a second chance, I embarked on a mission to develop a grassroots approach – the Mental Health Warrior program – to offer everyone a guide to daily empowerment.


Our New Approach

We defeated COVID by embracing new ways of living – masks, social distancing, and vaccines. Similarly, we can conquer the silent battles within our minds by adopting a fresh perspective on mental health. It's a call to arms, a rallying cry for every individual to prioritize their mental well-being each day.

The Mental Health Warrior program is a testament to the idea that we all have the power within us. It's based on using daily tools, that are interwoven into everyday activities, that empower us to face challenges head-on. We've proven our collective strength in battling a virus; now, let's channel that strength into conquering our mental health challenges!


I will let you in on a secret; the key lies in consistency and commitment. We can't treat mental health as a quick fix or a one-time effort. Just as we practiced hand hygiene during the pandemic, we need daily habits that nurture our mental well-being. It's about creating a new way of living, where mental health isn't an afterthought but a conscious, intentional practice we embrace daily.


Mental Health Warrior Call to Action

So, warriors, let's heed the lesson that the pandemic taught us and take action, individually and collectively, just as we did to combat the virus. The journey begins with embracing the power within you, the power that led us to victory over a global pandemic, to take a new perspective on daily life and put it into action. Building a new life as Mental Health Warriors, where we, not our challenges, are in charge. That is the life every one of us can build, founded on the lessons learned from Covid and applied to the next challenge facing us today – our Mental Health!

Bruce Schutter

(Author and Creator of the Mental Health Warrior Program, and Challenge Coin)

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