7 Soothing Mother’s Day Suggestions for the Mentally Ill Mama In Your Life

How to help the mentally ill mama in your life this Mother's Day-bettysbattleground.com

Today my daughter came home from daycare with paint on her hands. Not an uncommon occurrence and I didn’t think much of it, but when I was helping her wash it off, she looked at me with a big grin and said, “I was making you a Valentine’s card mom!”  Well….Valentine’s Day isn’t coming up…but I can think of one day that is…

It makes me smile to think of the sweet little cards my kids will probably be bringing home this Mother’s Day weekend; smudgy pieces of construction paper with writing that obviously came from their teachers (my 3 year old once brought home an especially clever Christmas card in which her teacher actually transcribed what she said…”This one/ Yeah/ I want my card”…it was fantastic). And I remember thinking back on the gifts that I gave my mom as a kid; crummy little handmade gizmos that I made with such care and they still came out like such crap…yet she still has them on her shelves.

Still…as wonderful as our hand-made kid-gifts truly are, the gifts that adults give to the moms in their lives are special in a totally different way. Like, they can actually be used. While I’m not going to speak out against the typical chocolates, jewelry, and flowers, mamas with mental illness have our own sets of special needs. If you want to go the typical route, I’m sure she won’t mind. But if you want to do something truly special for the mentally ill mother in your life, try one of these tips. Whether she’s your mom, partner, sister, daughter, or friend; whether she lives with PTSD, PPD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, or something else; these Mother’s Day tips from one mentally ill mama to you should give you some ideas of ways that you can really help her this Mother’s Day.

I understand that if you are economically tied to a mentally ill person, you may not have a lot of extra cash. For that reason, I have provided budget friendly alternatives to the more expensive suggestions, and several inexpensive-but totally awesome-options.

Please note: Like all of the other Mother’s Day guides floating around, this one uses affiliate links. You can read my full legal disclaimer on the bottom of any and every page, or in my Mission+Legal page, but basically: if you make a purchase via one of these Amazon links, you will be helping this mentally ill mother by gaining me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Woo-hoo!

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The Suicide Survivor’s Guide: 3 Ways to Recognize Suicidal Behavior, and How You Can Help

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It has been a heavy week on Betty’s Battleground.

Last Wednesday I posted the letter I didn’t write when I attempted suicide on my birthday last year.

On Monday, I kicked off my guest post series “Tales From the Other Side” with a beautiful and heartbreaking letter written to the sister Connie Hulsart, from the blog Essentially Broken, lost to suicide.

I know, this blog has not been the easiest to read this past week. Nor the easiest to publish, believe me. But it is important to understand suicide. The mentality behind it, which I showcased in my letter; the complex effects and aftermath, which Connie demonstrated with grace and raw honesty in hers, and also how to recognize suicidal behaviors in others and what to do about it.

Suicide is very serious. It is the 10th leading cause of the death in the United States, and, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are twenty-five more attempts for every single completed suicide. And that’s just what’s reported. We have no way of quantifying the attempts, completed suicides, and ideations that occur unreported or unrecognized. According to the World Health Organization, over 800,000 people die from suicide each year. It is approximated that someone, somewhere on the planet, completes a suicide every 40 seconds.

Let that sink in.

Every 40 seconds.  That means that in the time you have been reading this, at least one person has died by his own hand.

Suicide merits understanding.

I am not a psychological expert. I cannot replace the advice of professionals. But I have been there. Many, many times. My most serious attempt was in 2016, but it was not my first. Besides my other attempts, I have considered suicide on numerous occasions. I have spent years in a suicidal state, mostly due to my PTSD.  I am going to wrap up what has become “Suicide Week” on Betty’s Battleground with a Suicide Survivor’s Guide to Recognizing Suicidal Behavior, and some suggestions on how to help. Some of these are research based; many are based on my experiences with being suicidal.  As I said, I cannot replace the advice and opinion of a psychological expert. If you believe that you or someone you know is suicidal, it is a good idea to talk to a professional. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. In my opinion, it is always beneficial to combine the knowledge of experts with the knowledge of experience, so here is what I have learned from being suicidal:

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