March is women’s history month. There are multiple examples of how women have taken the lead to positively impact our understanding and treatment of mental health. One such hero is Nely Bly. Nely was an investigative journalist. In 1887 she went undercover at a New York psychiatric hospital. After 10 days as an inpatient, Bly wrote about her experiences in an exposé for New York World. Her report got the attention of the state legislature and triggered new funding and reforms in the treatment of people with mental health conditions. Her report was later published in the book “Ten Days In A Mad-House”, which I highly recommend.
Another such hero is--Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. In her book “On Death and Dying” she described a model for how we process grief that is still used today. She understood that grieving took on a pattern of emotions including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. She helps us see that grief is a journey we need to walk in order to re-orient ourselves to life after a loved one passes. Her work has helped countless individuals navigate the incredible changes that losing a loved one has in our life.
-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCC-S, Executive Director, Appleseed Community Mental Health Center