This may seem like an ordinary headline we see examples of every day now due to mental health taking a more prominent spot in the news cycle. But it’s anything other than ordinary…& it’s great.
Firefighters in Lubbock, TX, are running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, to raise awareness for mental health, yes, & cancer. Why those two tied together?
First, not surprisingly based on picking the cause, firefighters are more likely to get cancer than the avg population. But second, where cancer is AT from an awareness standpoint mental health SHOULD be, but isn’t. Tying the two of them together when doing awareness campaigns brings a diff type of awareness: “What advocacy, normalization, & change SHOULD look like.”
Cancer was a big part of my personal story. My brother had it 2x. First in the late 80s-early 90s. Back then it was: called “The Big C,” ppl were afraid to go near folks whose hair had fallen out from the chemo, fearing if they got too close, they’d “get IT too.”
He then had it again in late 90s-early 2000s & by then society was more accepting: bringing chocolates, candies, & teddy bears to the rooms of patients.
This is personal opinion, but a big part of that change was the campaign in the 90s: “EVERYONE knows someone affected.” It’s brought us together against “a common enemy” so much so that sports teams/leagues now have campaigns (slides➡️) where whole stadiums & arenas including the players hold up signs related to cancer “I Stand Up For___” & “I Fight For___.”
We are doing this in schools all over for mental health! Having students/teachers/admins fill out signs w: “My SameHere Challenge Is___” & “I fight through it by____.” Have even partnered w folks like @slivingstn to bringing it to more schools (last slide➡️).
We are close to using these signs w pro sports teams. Maybe it’ll starts in a section before the whole arena/stadium…but it’ll happen. In MH you don’t just fight for OTHERS affected. EVERYONE is affected & we are fighting for ourselves as well. As these firefighters know, we can be bold & proud of our fight & take it to the awareness perch cancer awareness has achieved!