Guest Post: “Pain Into Purpose”

By Abigail Severson

One of the most beautiful things about life is also one of the hardest, and that’s that it keeps going. When you lose someone you love, your world comes to a halt. No matter how badly you want to move backwards in time, everything and everyone around you continues to move forward. That was hard for me at first, but now, it brings me comfort. I thought that living for someone else meant pressure, but I’ve come to find instead that it means purpose.

When I lost my brother Erik, I couldn’t help but feel like there was more I could have done to be there for him. Losing someone you love to mental illness may leave you feeling as if you’ve failed them. This was a feeling that has stuck with me since Erik lost his battle with mental health almost three years ago.

What I now know is that while there isn’t anything else I could have done for him then, there are still plenty of things I can still do for Erik and the millions like him today. That is why Project Healthy Minds’ mission means so much to me, because it means so much to all of us who are struggling with our mental health.

Project Healthy Minds encourages all of us to speak openly about our struggles – and is expanding access to mental health services to make it easier to find help. Erik’s legacy lives on through this mission. Hosting the Erik Power Severson Memorial 5K benefitting Project Healthy Minds has brought purpose to our grief and has encouraged my family to support a movement that would make Erik proud.

No matter how much we miss him, our love for him transcends our loss of him. Though you may be missing someone right now, move forward. Their memory will help you find purpose, too.

If you are looking for mental health support for yourself or a loved one,

find trusted services in Project Healthy Minds' free /Guide for Healthy Minds.

Join Our 2nd Annual 5K Celebrating Erik’s Life

In celebration of Erik’s life, we invite you to the 2nd annual run or walk with us to raise money for mental health awareness. The 5K will be held virtually and in person. You are able to do your walk or run on your own time and submit your results virtually! The run is not an offically timed event, but is meant to bring people together to celebrate Erik and support those who may be struggling. The virtual event will be open for submissions any time between May 16 - May 30. (Registration open NOW - May 30). The in-person event will be held on Saturday, May 21. The day before Erik’s 21st birthday. (Registration open NOW - May 20)

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