Updated: Jan 20
A quick read by: Brady Johnson
Hello world. Before we get started I wanted to give a little introduction into how this website and organization came to be. I would like to talk about why we started this and what you can expect in the future. The bones for the Inspire Others Organization first took form about a month ago when I had the idea to sell T shirts on my personal blog - Brady's Blog. My motives with my personal blog have always revolved around trying to create awareness around mental health while offering people life advice on the side.
1 month ago I got a call from Asa while I was sitting in my office (the closet in my basement). This was not a high point in my life. I was one bad day away from deleting my personal blog to disassociate myself from the facade I believed people were seeing when they read my blog. That was not me, I was lost in a battle with self identification. But after I got that call from Asa, he reignited a flame I thought was gone when he had the idea to create a separate website where we would promote mental health. The answer was right in front of me the entire time, my purpose on this earth was to help others.
So boom, all of a sudden, in my dimly lit closet I got to work, creating the foundation for the website that night and everyday since it has been all I can think about.
While we are in the early stages of this organization, this is not something that will be a flash in the pan. Asa and I have the tenacity, the will, and the heart to put everything we have into this thing of ours. For those that want to join us in the effort to make the world a better place, we would love to have you.
Our main goals
1. Inspire others to put mental health first
As the times progress more and more I feel that this is less of an issue, but there are still people out there who don't make their mental health the number one priority. I used to be someone who could be put into this category, I believed physical health was the one and only focus. However, this is not true.
Your mental health is #1 but that is not to say that your physical, spiritual, emotional, and social health are not on the same tier. They are all interrelated because to truly be well, you need to practice each type of health. Let's take a look at spiritual health, by meditating or doing deep breathing exercises you can strengthen your spiritual health. If you meditate before you workout, your mind will be more clear and therefore you will have a better workout. By having a better workout you will be in better physical shape while also being in a better emotional state of mind. When you look good you feel good, resulting in higher confidence and better off social well being.
Like anything it takes time to change your life, but observing your actions and thoughts during the day can lead to you making better decisions and having a higher opinion of yourself. Just remember to always ask yourself this simple question before you complete a task, "Will doing this make me happy?"
2. Create a voice for the voiceless
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your courage is contagious no matter how much you undervalue yourself. I used to believe that my problems were insufficient and I would not get anything accomplished by sharing my story. I now know that this is not true. While it feels like sometimes I am alone, I know that is not true, there will always be people out there who are going through similar struggles.
I believe that the number one thing holding people back from being open about their problems is the fear of being judged. The fear of being the victim to a societal stigma. It follows all of us around, and those who try harder to fit in with their peers often are closed off because of the fear of being different. If you want to take away anything from this article at all, take this with you: It is important to be different, it gives you a sense of individuality and a sense of purpose.
3. Spread awareness around Mental Illness
At the end of the day I can not get into people's heads and change their mind, but the least I can do is encourage them to seek help if they are battling something that could be dangerous. By spreading awareness around mental health we can hopefully change the minds of a few people.
By joining us through this adventure, you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Through this website we will share the stories of people who have struggled through mental illness in an effort to be more open about what we go through. You will be able to donate directly to us for funding and to NAMI to help their organization.
4. Give back to our community
There are three sections of Massachusetts that I hold near and dear to my heart.
The first being Central Massachusetts. Asa and I have grown up in the heart and soul of Massachusetts. We love everything about our home and the people who we have grown up with have been paramount in forming who we have become today. Economically speaking, a majority of the people in holden are well off, poverty levels are not very high. There are some cities such as Worcester, who have areas that are not as wealthy and poverty rates are also much higher. While mental health is not dependent on economic well being we feel it is important to reach out to every area we can in central mass.
My second home is a place that is very close to my heart. I spend my summers down in Cape Cod, bartending and engaging with the community. I want to give back to Cape Cod and the town of Dennisport because it has helped shape my identity and put me on a path where I have met many great people.
Lastly, Western mass, specifically Amherst, where I go to school is not a region that I am all that familiar with but I believe it is still a special place that has given me a lot.
What you can expect moving forward
Here at the Inspire Others Organization we have a vision, an ambitious one but obtainable. One part of what we want to do is going to involve our Blog page. The blog is going to help us better convey what we want to say to our community. Through stories of people in our community, news about upcoming events, and life advice, this is where you will be able to find out what is going on.
Events. Our biggest goal here is to be able to speak to people in public about mental illness. Being able to read a blog about mental illness is one thing but actually seeing someone in person talk about it is a whole other thing. Generally speaking, what our events would include is opportunities to donate, merchandise sales, food and drinks, and speeches by myself, Asa, and others. We would like to put on these events in our community most specifically at schools like my former high school. I feel that it is super important to be a voice for the younger generation and hopefully set them along the right path.
Our shop will hopefully be open to the public within the next week or so. n the shop we plan to sell wristbands, t-shirts and masks. This is not all for profit, we plan on taking a percentage and donating it to NAMI, making sure that our funds are locally dispersed.
To sum it all up
This is going to be a lot, and when we finally get to where we want to be we are going to need some help. If you want to help out, please reach out under the contact page.
At the end of the day this is an accumulation of many spontaneous thoughts that we have had throughout our years. I want be as transparent as possible taking about my own life because I know what I say has a lot of weight and will be helpful to others who might be going through the same thing.
Please look out for our first article which will be published on the 23rd of January. This will be my story. Chances are that it might be shocking to hear me be so blunt but I am not doing this to be shocking, I am doing this to make an impact.