True confessions: I didn’t have a professional manicure until I was in college. The reason? I’ve been self-conscious about my hands for as long as I can remember. Specifically, I have a harmless genetic trait called brachydactyly type D which makes one of my thumbs kind of stubby. We just called it my “weird thumb” growing up, but I did everything I could to hide it from people, worried they would make fun of me. Eventually I learned to make fun of it myself before anyone else could, although I still catch myself concealing it when that familiar fear of embarrassment creeps up.
But here’s the thing: in the grand scheme of things, a “weird thumb” is really nothing compared to the adversity others are facing. So today, for the second year in a row, I’m proud to get a “Maynicure” in honor of the 1 in 5 children who suffer from mental disorders. Last year, you may remember, I shared the shocking statistics with you all on behalf of Clarity Child Guidance Center. I’m happy to partner with them again to spread the word that mental illness in children is not only common, but there are resources available if we can only get these sweet souls the help they so desperately need. Here’s a refresher:
- 1 in 2 of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.
- Every year in Bexar Country, an estimated 1300 children were admitted to a local ER for psychiatric reasons, often with no specialized care immediately available.
- 1 in 7 Hispanic high school studnets in Texas report having made a suicide plan.
- 50% of children with a serious emotional disturbance drop out of high school.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 10 to 24-year-old youth.
So what can you do to help? First of all, visit Clarity’s website here for a proactive list of ways to take action. Second, talk to the children in your life about their emotions, big and small. Take the time to ask how they’re really doing, even if it’s just five minutes in the car alone. Open lines of communication are essential for children to feel comfortable coming forward with internal struggles.
Next, for the month of May, you can get a “#Maynicure”! Clarity is encouraging anyone who wants to raise awareness for this sensitive issue to paint one of their fingers a different color in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Every time someone asks you about your alternate finger nail, tell them it’s in honor of the one in five children who have a mental illness.
How awesome is that?! An easy way to start a discussion about a topic that needs to be brought to light. Trust me, I am well aware that my aversion to manicures is far less important than this. At least my “weird thumb” issue is on the outside, and easy for everyone to see. I imagine the turmoil must be even greater when the hurt is inside your head, impossible for those you love to truly understand unless they’ve been there. If we can help in some small way with a simple manicure, it’s absolutely worth it.
P.S. I received compensation in exchange for this post. Don’t worry though, all opinions are my own.
P.P.S. For those of you who may be super observant and notice I’m not wearing my wedding ring, I lost a diamond off the center and have just been wearing my wedding band until I can get it repaired!