Have you heard of TWLOHA Non-Profit Organisation? Check them out here
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
This non-profit organisation has started a really important movement in USA. According to mental health research, 1 in 3 people will be affected sometime in their lives by depression. That means we will all know someone affected by this daunting disease or battle through it ourselves – a little scary to think isn’t it. However, this disease cannot be ignored no matter how daunting it is to think about, it actually makes it more important to talk and think about. It is actually classed as a disability now and is the number one cause of loss of productivity in the workplace.
Here are some quick facts from the TWLOHA website
Quick Numbers on depression
-121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (World Health Organization)
- 18 million of these cases are happening in the United States. (The National Institute of Mental Health)
- Between 20% and 50% of children and teens struggling with depression have a family history of this struggle and the offspring of depressed parents are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression. (U.S. Surgeon General’s Survey, 1999)
- Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)
- 2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment.
Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)
The last fact above is scary.
The great thing about the TWLOHA organisation is it fights against depression which leads to suicide, they also focus on addiction and self harm. Depression can have a flow on effect and lead to all of these things above so tackling it head on is the best approach.
TWLOHA is not a self-help line, nor are they trained professionals – but their purpose is to act as a bridge to help people affected by one or all of the illnesses mentioned above.
Why am I so interested in this NGO?
Someone in my family has suffered from depression and actually took their own life about 10 years ago now. I know first hand the pain it can cause to family, friends and loved ones. I was 13 at the time when my Uncle passed away and my sister was 16 or 17 at the time. It was so long ago yet the memories are still very vivid – it certainly something you can never forget. My Uncle suffered from mental illness for many years, as long as I can remember. The worst thing about mental illness 10 + years ago was the stigma around mental illness. It was never talked about - Stigma is a very real problem for people who have a mental illness. Based on stereotypes, stigma is a negative judgment based on a personal trait — in this case, having a mental health condition. It was once a common perception that having a mental illness was due to some kind of personal weakness. We now know that mental health disorders have a biological basis and can be treated like any other health condition. Even so, we still have a long way to go to overcome the many misconceptions, fears and biases people have about mental health, and the stigma these attitudes create.
Years ago depression was seen as a personal weakness and people were locked away and kept in institutions as they ‘were a threat to society’. We all know this is not true so I want to change people’s perspective on these mental illness, people don’t choose to have a mental illness but we can decide how we deal with it, starting by seeking help!
I would really like to do some work with TWLOHA organisation and try to fight this stigma and help people in need. My dream is to open a TWLOHA organisation here in New Zealand.
Come back shortly for an update!