Living the Sweet Life: MHM + CSR = A Better World

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and

Hey there Sweet Lifers! How are you doing? I want to introduce you to the latest movement – yes another one. What is MHM you ask? Well, it’s “Mental Health Matters,” and if you can subscribe to it, the whole world will be a better, kinder and more inclusive space.

As a person who holds a degree in Psychology, I have studied the good and bad of the mind and how these neuroses affect society. I am not a stranger to those having “disorders” diagnosed and the ramifications of what can and often does happen when they are cast aside and ignored. My nephew at 19 killed himself, and some of my friends suffer from at times what can be seen as debilitating depression. Many others became triggered by having to go through this pandemic. Stress causes much angst in the minds of even the most stable humans. Our society has seen some of those ugly truths as of late, and I am here to let you know we have not seen the worst of it yet. Our babies will develop lifelong and lasting “side effects” if you will from being pulled and pushed into and out of education, normal interactions with family and friends and a hovering fear of catching –  or worse giving – a potentially life-threatening round of COVID to someone they love.

Babette Crowder and Alisa Murray on Martini Talks discussing depression, mental health and the practice of CSR.

People throughout our collective of human history who sit outside an invisible line of “normal” have for years been hospitalized, drugged and even lobotomized. It’s been convenient to allow that to happen so as not to have to address the issues, and more often, it’s been dumped on our police systems throughout our country and assumed that they have the training and know how to “solve” a mentally challenged or in crisis person. I am declaring that we should all subscribe to a conscious movement of making mental health TOP priority now and forever, and in doing so, we can solve much of what ails us.

Recently on my Martini Talks YouTube show, I met with a friend to discuss mental health and her struggles with depression. On and off camera, I expressed my frustration with suicide and just how far out that concept is for me. I honestly feel like I am rushed to complete yet another career or accomplishment, self-inflicted of course, as my Brian says laughing. I want to live four hundred years so I have the time to read every book, study all of the scriptures, serve and help my community, etc. Taking my own life is so foreign I just don’t get it. And for many of us, I think that because we don’t sit in a space in our heads with depression, it’s at first glance impossible for us to understand. I said to my friend, “I do not have enough time!” She smiled and said she had too much! Time for her was like an unending hole and just to get up and brush her teeth was a dreaded activity.

At that moment it suddenly occurred to me that the key to understanding mental health is not describing others who are unlike us as “ill” but “different.” I have seen a shift, too, in the ways my friends who are in psychology and sociology fields do their work. What was once diagnosed as a deviant or ill person is now approached differently. We have all come to understand a little bit better the importance of mental health and wellness.

Being a cardiac patient with the analogy of CPR, it got me to thinking we should adopt some CSR. I call it “Compassionate Sweet Response.” After doing a little research, I discovered this is already happening across our land by the use of trained people showing up to help those in crisis rather than making it a part of our police response. We are waking up to realize many of the problems we face are rooted in a need to reposition both our perspective and also our response. By placing MHM at the forefront and using a lot of CSR, our world can become a safer, and “sweeter” place!

Take Care of YOU and Stay “Sweet!”