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mental illness

How do you fight in the open for mental health? <Tweet this!>

I had an amazing time presenting Gutless,Grateful and the Power of Storytelling this week at the Mental Health America Conference in Alexandria VA.

What a wonderfully passionate, enthusiastic mix of mental health advocates passionate about creativity, building compassion, and fighting in the open.

Check out some wonderful pictures from the conference here!

What messages do you get from the media about mental health?

Body Reborn Amy Oestreicher 2015

“The Body Reborn” – I did it completely with my fingers and a paper towel. For me, art is therapy.

That was the theme of this year’s MHA conference:Media, Messaging and Mental Health. What do you see on TV, hear on the news, listen to on the radio, see on posters, billboards, and read in magazines that tell you to think, act or look a certain way?
Check out 25 Messages to Melt Stigma and Reclaim Your Power here.

25 Messages to Melt Stigma and Reclaim Your Power (1)

I met some remarkable people I met this week, including Rachel Griffin, fellow musical theatre geek and incredibly sweet lady, Kevin Hines, one of the most amazing, compelling speakers I’ve ever experienced, and keynote speaker Sue Klebold…and so many more!


You can check out some of the other wonderful speakers here.


Four Skills to “Fight in the Open”

I got to share once again about the four hardcore resiliency skills I love to blab about so much – because they work!

Screenshot 2016-06-10 01.12.01

How else do you survive 27 surgeries?

You can check out my tips for each “hard-core skill” here! (And much more on my blog)

  1. Gratitude (Make an A to Z Gratitude List)
  2. Hope (Lie to yourself…seriously!)
  3. Creativity (Doodle for five minutes, then rip it up – it’s just for you!)
  4. Sharing Your Story (Not ready? Read about someone else’s)

If you try any of these tools, I’d love to hear what it was like for you! Be sure to send me a note, or tweet me @amyoes!  If you look at the hashtag #mhaconf16, you’ll hear all about this amazing conference, cant wait for next year!

When You Feel Like Running Away…

-I can imagine how hard this may be for you.

There were many compelling stories from individuals who suffered from depression, or who had tried to take their own lives. The important thing to remember is that it can get better. We just need to be there long enough to see it for ourselves.

I recently wrote about a time where I experienced my own personal rough time in my latest for XO Jane:

I Tried to Literally Run Away from Myself on the Shoulder of a Busy Highway

That’s not the kind of literal “detour” I’d like to take with my life, and I’m so glad I stayed on track.

#LoveMyDetour Share Your Story!

A detour in life is easier to travel...

#LoveMyDetour – learn more here.

Do you have a Detour you’re traveling right now? If life hasn’t gone as you expected, put one foot in front of the other, and read some Detourist stories to inspire you to keep traveling the path – even if you don’t know where it lead.

How I celebrated the Mental Health America Conference

Mental Health America’s 2016 Conference was an amazing opportunity to speak out for all of us, sharing our stories, hearing the tories of others, and planting the seeds for stories to come.  Here are some posts I did to celebrate:

How are you going to celebrate Mental Health Awareness all year long?

As Clifford Beers said, we must “fight in the open.”

I fight in the open to claim my voice, speak my truth, and allow myself to move forward with nothing to regret or redo, and everything to look forward to in the future.

How will you fight in the open?

<tweet it out and ask the world!>


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