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January 5, 2020
Bell Let’s Talk Day
February 1, 2020

The Purple Project

A few months ago I wrote on my Facebook wall that I was struggling with my mental health and that it had prompted me to work on my Wellness Recovery Action Plan which is described on their site as “WRAPĀ®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues.”     It was recommended by a therapist and I downloaded the app and was working on it when I realized – one of the major things that happens to me when I get depressed is I withdraw from people and stop going places. What I need most during the depression is to CONNECT with people instead of disconnecting. So I came up with the “Purple Project”. I asked people, via facebook, to send me a letter of encouragement that I wouldn’t open right away. Instead I would put it in my coping box and only open it when I was having a down day and needed a boost. The contents of the letter could be anything – poetry, inspirational quotes, memories of the two of us, an old fashioned letter. Anything really. They could even send it anonymously if they wanted to. All I asked was that they write “Purple” on the back of it so I would know the purpose of the letter. So far I have about 13, I have opened only 1. They have come from near and far, from family and friends and from some people I have only met a few times. They are in a box on my entertainment unit and on rough days just knowing what is in there puts a smile on my face. To know that those people took time out of their day to send me words of encouragement means a lot.  It is never too late to take part in the purple project – if you need my address let me know – you can contact me via Facebook or at tina1973@gmail.com

Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak is a 40-something mom and wife with two spirited boys. She has worked in early intervention and as an advocate resource for families with a loved one with a disability. Now she also writes a blog about raising children with complex needs, trying not to lose your sense of self as you parent, and her struggles with mental health.

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