INSPIRE to me provokes an unexplainable feeling. It creates an urge within you that forces you to look beyond yourself. It changes your perception and provides a sense of hope, desire, and purpose. It paints a vivid picture in your mind. It becomes your breath, and as you exhale, you begin to believe and drive out the manifestation of your dreams into reality.

My dream is that society would judge less and change their perceptions on how they view mental health and mental illnesses. People will ask for help if they feel empowered and safe to do so.

My mom suffered from a mental illness, and it was something we didn’t talk about, culturally and faith-based wise. I grew up with my dad and vowed I would never talk about it because of shame. I did not want people to say that my mom was crazy or that I would be crazy too. I remember a sister of an ex of mine making a joke about it when she was upset, and it hurt me to the core. 

Mental health or mental illness is real, and it affects people differently. Without a doubt, the world would benefit when we tackle the misconceptions and focus more on the truth; if we began to educate more on how to remove stigmas while providing solutions and resources.

When going for my master’s, I prayed on it. I thought God would agree with me and say Leadership & Organizational Development. Instead, I heard loud and clear God telling me to enter the School of Counseling & Human Services. It was so vivid, and I told Him, “I don’t understand, but I trust You.” Of course, I listened to him, and I graduated with my master’s from Capella University. 

In reality, deep down inside, I knew why. I just did not know-how. I escaped going to school for Child Psychology. I knew the trauma I had experienced and remembered that the kids I would work with would have more significant issues than adults. I knew that I was the type of person that struggled with turning off my emotions, and I would want to bring those kids home with me. I have been told how big of a heart that I had for people. I could not handle it back then, so I switched my major. God, of course, had other plans.

Here I am now with the gift of being an Empath. It has only been recently that I decided to accept the gift. Although, I chuckle because what God has for you will be for you. It isn’t going anywhere. They say, with great power comes great responsibility. I did not want the power because, honestly, I was not ready for the obligation. I understand now, some times you go through things for a reason. God knows your capabilities. He knows what He can trust you with.

The fact is, my mom became sick. It just happened to be mental. It took years after her death in 2008 for me to forgive, even forgiving myself because I was so angry, confused, lost, and hurt. I was not more than ten years old, and I needed her. The reality is, I needed her more now ever than before. This is my purpose and a way to honor her. This is me becoming who I was meant to be.

This movement is necessary not only for her or for me but is needed now more than ever! Depression and anxiety is the #1 disability in the US.

My platform, this cause is not just a state issue or a national issue. It is a global issue. We lose someone to suicide, globally, every 40 seconds.

We have to change how society views mental health and mental illnesses. People need to feel empowered and safe to ask for help. By keeping everything inside and “being strong” led me to a very dark place. I thank God for being there. Just like there are doctors and dentists, I say God + Therapy produces healing and changes things!

 

So many people have been impacted by some type of trauma and don’t even realize it. It affects our relationships and the way we view ourselves and society.

I am here to say, share your story. I have so much more to say. In time, I hope that talking about it more and expressing the significant issue about eradicating stigmas will inspire people to speak up and empower others including employers to provide impactful solutions and resources.

Know that the ones that tend to take their lives are tired of putting on the mask and pretending when deep down inside, they wonder why no one hears their cry for help. It is our pre-med students, our doctors, military personnel, and veterans, as well as our parents and children. It’s people like you and me.

I will repeat, we lose someone to suicide globally every 40 seconds. To inspire and empower more people to ask for help, we must provide a safe place for them to do so.

So let me ask you, how can you change your perception of mental health/illnesses. What can you change to help remove the judgment and the shame?

I want to continue to share my platform, “Sparkle – Turning Darkness Into Light.”

I will continue to speak up, so we normalize and humanize the conversation promoting positive mental health habits. I want people to know that it is okay to be human. It is okay not to be okay, just don’t unpack your bags and stay there. Ask for help.

Will you join me in this movement?

By the way, voting is now open. I hope you will vote for me for the People’s Choice for the United States of America’s (USOA) Miss Nevada, Mrs. Division, by clicking HERE. If I win, a portion of the proceeds will benefit my 501(c)(3) charity of choice, the Junior League of Las Vegas; as-well-as USOA Miss Nevada’s Community Partner, The Just One Project.

I chose the Junior League because they are an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action, leadership of trained volunteers to serve our community better. As a community advocate for 21 years and a resident for just about 22 years, I love my city and my state. The Junior League has started several organizations such as the Discovery Children Museum, Shannon West Homeless Youth Center, CASA Foundation for foster children, and The Shade Tree just to name a few.

This was a hard decision to make as I’m so involved with different organizations. My mom’s mental illness resulted in my older brother and me being placed in foster care for some time. Thankfully, my dad could get full custody, but it took two different school seasons to get it finalized. When I found out that the Junior League helped get the CASA Foundation started and we are now looking to partner with another foster care organization, I knew who to select. Not to mention, due to COVID, the last 2 years have been difficult where we haven’t been able to raise the funds to do what we would like to do for the community. I appreciate your support and again, you can vote HERE.

I share all of this not for pitty or sorrow. Know that I am a survivor and I stand strong rooting for all of those that feel that their voice isn’t being heard. I hear you and I will continue to advocate for you.

Xo,
TrinaMarie Shaw
United States of America’s Mrs. Blue Diamond 2021
“SPARKLE – Turning Darkness Into Light”

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