• Jolynn Lee

Lean-In

Updated: Jun 15, 2020


It's time to flip the script, change the narrative

and lean in to have those hard conversations.




Sometimes it is really challenging to have those hard conversations, have them anyway. Talking about mental health can seem so taboo, especially in the military community – do it anyway. Recently, there have been countless FB posts sharing studies and statistics tracking the suicide rates among active duty service members, military spouses, and military dependents (children). Those numbers are frightening – the fact that the conversation around those numbers is still being held at a whisper is even more frightening. It’s time to flip the script, change the narrative, and lean in to the hard conversation. It’s time for change!

Change – what an ironic word to use when discussing mental health in the military environment. Those who serve, and those who support those serving, experience change regularly. It comes like clockwork with the arrival of new orders, it comes unexpectedly with the announcement of a deployment, change is commonplace within our community. Except, it seems, when it comes to addressing the issue of trauma, PTSD, depression, isolation, or good mental health practices. I don’t mean to sound critical – because folks are trying at all levels of the game! I believe that – I see it! But on the ground level, behind closed doors, sitting around the dinner table, how often do we reflect on what is going on internally? How often do we have those hard conversations?


Talking about our thoughts and feelings takes intentionality and courage. We must be willing to stop and reflect, to be vulnerable with ourselves and those near to us, we must be willing to be honest – gut wrenchingly honest. It isn’t easy, but it is worth the risk, worth the struggle to learn a new way – a better way – a healthier way of coping. See it’s not just about us – we are teaching those around us – both within our families and within our community – that they can keep pretending to maintain the status quo, or that it is okay to get real and seek help when the struggle is just too much. The narrative won’t change on its own, but it can change – and we can be that change – one conversation at a time. It is time to lean in – it is time to have those hard conversations. I hope that is what these blog posts regarding military mental health will do – encourage us all to lean in and do the hard thing! You are not alone! Let’s change the narrative together so we leave a legacy of healthy for our children and for those who come behind us with a desire to serve!

Sometimes it is really challenging to have those hard conversations, have them anyway. Talking about mental health can seem so taboo, especially in the military community – do it anyway. Recently, there have been countless FB posts sharing studies and statistics tracking the suicide rates among active duty service members, military spouses, and military dependents (children). Those numbers are frightening – the fact that the conversation around those numbers is still being held at a whisper is even more frightening. It’s time to flip the script, change the narrative, and lean in to the hard conversation. It’s time for change!







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