## Introduction
In an enlightening episode of "Shit That Goes On in Our Heads," Ruth candidly shares her battle with mental health following a traumatic experience. This blog delves into her story, extracting key highlights and offering actionable takeaways for those facing similar struggles. We also provide essential resources for mental health crisis support.

## Highlights
1. **Unsuspecting Onset**: Ruth’s mental health journey was triggered unexpectedly when she ate a PCP-laced brownie, leading to severe hallucinations and the onset of long-term mental health challenges.

2. **Isolation and Mental Health**: After dropping out of her core architecture course, Ruth felt isolated, emphasizing how crucial social networks are in mental health.

3. **The Struggle with Therapy**: Ruth’s journey through ineffective therapy highlights the importance of finding the right mental health care tailored to individual needs.

4. **Overcoming Gender Bias**: As a woman in architecture, Ruth navigated additional challenges, showing the intersection of professional stress and mental health.

5. **Battling Stigma**: Ruth's story is set against the backdrop of the 1980s, a time when mental health was stigmatized, pointing to the critical need for openness and understanding.

## Key Takeaways
- **Awareness of Substance Abuse Effects**: Ruth's story underscores the need for awareness regarding the impacts of substances on mental health.

- **Importance of Suitable Mental Health Care**: Personalized therapy is key, as one-size-fits-all approaches can be ineffective.

- **Role of Community and Connections**: Maintaining social ties is vital for mental well-being, as isolation can exacerbate mental health issues.

- **Challenging Gender Stereotypes**: Recognizing and addressing gender-specific challenges in workplaces is essential for mental health.

- **Eradicating Mental Health Stigma**: Progress requires us to continue breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

## Action Items
1. **Educate on Substance Abuse**: Implement educational programs about substance abuse and its effects on mental health in schools, workplaces, and community centers.

2. **Advocate for Tailored Therapy**: Encourage those struggling with mental health to seek therapy options that resonate with them personally.

3. **Build and Maintain Social Networks**: Engage in community activities, support groups, or online forums to combat isolation.

4. **Promote Gender Equality in Professional Settings**: Support initiatives that address gender-specific challenges in the workplace.

5. **Foster Open Conversations on Mental Health**: Participate in or organize events that encourage open discussions about mental health, breaking down stigma.

## Mental Health Crisis Resources
1. **National Suicide Prevention Lifeline**: Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress.

2. **Crisis Text Line**: Text "HELLO" to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling.

3. **NAMI Helpline**: Contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264) for support and information.

4. **SAMHSA National Helpline**: Call 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) for substance abuse and mental health services.

5. **Local Support Groups**: Search for local mental health support groups which can provide community and understanding.

Ruth’s experiences, though unique, mirror the struggles many face in their mental health journeys. By learning from her story and utilizing available resources, we can build a supportive network for those in need.

Ruth Poniarski
Ruth Poniarski