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Caiti Velvet
Female from Sydney, Australia | Austin, TX

Story Teller; Acting & Voice. Model. Drinker of teas; keeper of keys. Aussie. Child of the Earth. Passions: Indigenous Rights, Equality, Mental Health & Sex Ed.

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"The strongest leaders do not command, they empower." - Ralph Marston.
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Caiti Velvet
Take a MomentToday we lost a friend. We lost a mentor, an inspiration, a visionary, an enigma; a part of our family.

I'm not going to attempt to write any kind of summary of Monty's life. That's not my place, nor my intention today.

My intentions are to let you know that it’s okay to be impacted by this. it’s not “silly”, “pathetic”, "random" or “weird”.

If you're here, chances are Monty has made an impact on your life somehow, and this tragic news will impact you. You will feel something, and that is not only natural - it's normal.

I want you to know that the support, compassion and kindness you've shown each other is indescribable; but sometimes we need a little more help than we'd like to admit.

Events like these can be triggering for some people, so I hope that you take the time to be aware of how you're feeling - checking in with your body and listening to your internal dialogue.

If you're noticing that your body is feeling a bit out of the norm (perhaps you've got heightened senses, are trembling, having trouble breathing), your thoughts are darker than you feel comfortable with, or they're more difficult to control - please acknowledge these signs.

Everyone processes trauma and tragedy differently. Personally, I've been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicine on and off for years, I attend group therapy three times a week, I see my individual therapist once a week and my incredible psychiatrist once a quarter. This may seem dramatic to some, but it's what I need to do to deal with my past traumas. I'm telling you this because I'm passionate about eliminating stigma associated with any treatment or aid needed for a mental health crisis.

I hope to empower you to seek professional help if you're experiencing feelings (physical or emotional) that make you feel unsafe or frightened for yourself. It’s important that I say “professional” because, respectfully, however well intentioned our friends and family are - they are usually not trained psychologists or psychiatrists.

A lot of health insurance companies provide low cost access to mental health assistance, especially if it's for therapy. Just like teeth cleaning is free because it’s a “preventive action”, so is seeing a therapist. Finding someone is as simple as using Google to find people in your area that take your insurance. If you don't have insurance but you are in a position to consider seeing a clinical practitioner, this locator can assist you in finding someone near you.

If you don't have health insurance, or just need a little assistance to get you out of a tail spin, I recommend the following sites for the US and Australia.

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1 (800) 273-8255
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14

There are also many non-profit organisations specific to your areas that you have access to, if you search for them.

Please be aware that positive mental health strategies vary from person to person.
Something that might work for you, mightn't work for another person. Checking in with how you feel about things is an important step in finding what works for you, and I encourage you to practise. Sitting with feelings is not a negative thing, in fact it's an important part of healing - acknowledgement. However, as I previously mentioned - feelings of fear, panic and being unsafe can be troubling. I encourage you to seek that little extra help, should you need it - because sometimes we all do, even if we don't talk about it.

Of course, if at any time you feel you might be a danger to yourself or others, please call Emergency Services immediately. They're there to help you.

This is my homage to Monty. Over the duration of his hospitalisation, I've struggled to find words when discussing him, his work and his contagious passion. Right now is no different.

This sucks. Epic fucking balls. Regardless, you deserve to feel safe; we all do. Please check in with yourself.

For Monty.
3 weeks ago  |  Comments (69)
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