Hi there! Well, gosh, what on earth can I say to all of you? First things first, for those who don’t know me, my name is Ruby, and I’m the admin of A Canvas Of The Minds. Before I get into the finer points of the setup here, though, I’d like to offer a proper greeting. I guess as each of you fall into one of three distinct groups, with a little overlap (you’ll see what I mean in a sec), I need to say three distinct things.
First, to all of you who have been reading Canvas for a while (a long while or a little while), hello again, it’s so nice to have you with us. We’re very happy that you found us, however you did, and whenever you did. You’ve helped us along on our journey, and for that, we thank you from our hearts!
Next, to those of you who have come to know us through Blog For Mental Health 2013, welcome, we’re delighted that this campaign has resonated with you. Be sure to look for yourselves on the Blogroll (please let me know if you’ve written a post that isn’t on there). And thank you for sharing this message, the response we have received so far is absolutely mind-boggling! If you haven’t written a Blog For Mental Health 2013 pledge and would like to, please do, there is no time limit on this one. Just be sure and leave a comment so we can share!
The third group of people were all brought here by the very lovely and talented Dr. DeeDee Chickadee, whose post, When Do I Make the Call?, was Freshly Pressed last week (her second Pressing, by the way, the first was for a wonderful piece on her personal blog, Coming Out Bipolar, Round 1)! A great big hello and welcome to Canvas from all of us! I have only begun to start visiting blogs, because the response to that absolutely knocked me silly. But I am finding such an amazing variety in bloggers who have subscribed that it leaves me shaking my head in wonderment. The fact that a mental health blog could find such a wide audience is incredibly gratifying to me.
At this point, I should probably explain a bit about the basics of this blog. You see, it’s pretty unique, and probably quite different from the other blogs you read regularly, so I thought I should be a good hostess and show you around. Our About page, while giving you the sense of things, doesn’t give you the specifics.
Canvas is something my dear friend and fellow blogger Lulu and I cooked up about a-year-and-a-half ago between comments and eventually emails (by the way, if you want to read the wonderful little story of the genesis of this project, and see some attempts at art by me, you can find that here). We thought it would be a really great idea if we could create a space where people with all kinds of mental health concerns could blog together. And, luckily enough for us, a lot of really wonderful people thought it was a great idea as well!
At present, we have 14 active authors. We have different diagnoses, different backgrounds, live in different circumstances in several different countries. We have different perspectives and vary in age and writing style and how we approach a lot of things. Diversity is one of our great strengths. But we have quite a bit in common, too.
We are all fighting for good mental health. We are all strong and supportive and empathetic, and we all want to work together towards educating people on what living with a mental illness is really like. We want to wipe out the ignorance and demolish the stigma that hangs heavy around carrying a diagnosis (or diagnoses). And we want to let anyone out there who stumbles across this space who might be dealing with their own mental health concerns know that they are not alone. There are so many of us (and I don’t just mean writing for Canvas), and we want you to take strength from the fact that there are others going through what you do who understand.
So take your time and nose around the site a bit, if you haven’t already. Check out the author pages, which you’ll find under the heading of Team Canvas, as we have come to call ourselves (courtesy of Sailor). Each author shares a bit about themselves, and you will find links to their personal blogs, as well as a quick way to access all of their Canvas posts by clicking on their Gravatar image. We have a section called Let’s Talk About, where you can find and participate in monthly discussions on topics chosen by our authors. If you’re looking for more great mental health blogs, check out our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll, there are a lot of wonderful reads on there. And while I hope you never need it, we have recently added a Crisis page with telephone numbers and websites (more are being added).
As I mentioned above, I am the admin, which in this case just means I do the behind-the-scenes rearranging and tidying up, and that I’m also the main point of contact if you have any questions or want to know more. You can leave a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me finish by saying thank you for all of you incredible interest. Mental illness is so often swept under the rug or hushed up, and the fact that so many people from so many different, diverse backgrounds and walks of life have found in this something of enough value to choose to subscribe makes me hopeful in a way I cannot properly convey. I look forward to getting to know all of you better, and hope you’ll always come away from reading our pieces with something to think about, and hopefully with something to say, as well.
P.S. I would be remiss in my duties as hostess if I didn’t direct you to two more posts by our authors that have also been given the Freshly Pressed nod. Alice was Pressed about a month ago on her blog for the post Epic Quests and crap like that, and on the very same day DeeDee’s post here appeared as FP, Lunch Sketch‘s Be Kind was also showcased.
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