Today, we have Laura Gray with us who is based out of USA and has an extensive experience in the field of Mental Health. She is an author as well as a certified counselor.
She has an expertise in both counseling and instructional design for online learning. She has recently launched her book on Mental health and wants to help people live happy and joyful lives.
You have accomplished so much till now, Please share with us your wonderful journey.
It’s been a long journey—very long. Although I’ve accomplished a great deal, I really didn’t make it count until about 8 years ago. My own mental health issues—and the way I responded to them—were holding me back for nearly 20 years, and it wasn’t until I made my mental health the #1 priority in my life that I was able to realize any real success. But in the last few years, I’ve obtained my Ph.D. and have been quite successful in terms of work, family, and home. It really is possible!
How did you decide to become an author?
I have always known that I had several books in me, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about first. Then I realized that mental health was my passion, so I wrote Mental Health Makeover.
Please tell us about your book – Mental Health Makeover – THE 5-Step Plan for Taking Charge of Your Diagnosis and Living a Happy, Balanced Life
Mental Health Makeover has been a labor of love for nearly a year. In this book, I discuss my own journey battling mental illness, as well as staying in recovery for almost 10 years, and I offer what’s essentially a foolproof plan for getting to a good place and staying there. And it doesn’t matter if someone is dealing with depression and anxiety or having full-blown psychotic episodes—I know this book will help them.
Can you please share in brief – The 5 Step plan to taking charge of your diagnosis and living a happy & balanced life.
- It deals with putting together the healthcare “Dream Team”. A good psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, a therapist, and either a family practice doctor or an internal medicine doctor. It’s also about being the number one member of that healthcare team and advocating for yourself.
- Step 2 is about putting together a support system made up of friends and at least one family member (if there is one who can fit into this role). We’re often the last to see when we’re spiraling downward, so having others around to watch out for us and help us is to our advantage.
- It deals with taking good care of ourselves, both physically and emotionally. And it’s also about letting go of toxic relationships—even when those relationships are family members. Ultimately, we have to safeguard our mental health, and if there’s a relationship we’re in that isn’t good for it, we need to opt out.
- This step talks about finding meaningful activities and achieving a balance in life. Some of us are able to work, but many of us aren’t, so it’s important that whatever we do, we have things in our lives—just for us—where we can find meaning. It’s also important not to work too much or do too little. It’s all about balance and moderation.
- Finally, Step 5 is about advocating for ourselves and others. Once we get to a place where we’re feeling good, it’s really important to get involved in an organization—and there are many—where we can help others who are on this journey.
Being a certified counselor, what are the top challenges that you face and how do you overcome them?
The biggest challenges for me are in working with people who refuse to address their issues. In some recovery organizations, people get caught up in sitting around and talking about how “sick” they are. I’m not about being sick. I want to be well, and I want to help others take steps not to have their mental health issues run their lives.
Nowadays people are over stressed with work, finances or family issues, What one mantra would you recommend that can act as a self-therapy for them?
First, if you have an issue, acknowledge it. Then take the necessary steps to do what you need to do in order to live a happy, balanced life. Nobody is going to do it for you.
Any message that you would like to give to our readers?
Sure. If you’re dealing with a mental health issue of any kind, you need to know that it IS possible to live a happy, fulfilled life. For years, society has told us that the best we can hope for is to just be “okay.” That’s not true. We can all have the lives we want if we take the steps to get there.
If you liked the interview, please share it with your friends and family. If you want to connect with Laura, you can reach her via her website https://stablestrongstigmafree.com