An author admired, Missee Nelligan for her inspirational writing, poetry, and photography recently guested and spoke in TALK OUT LOUD Australia regarding mental health awareness. Talk Out Loud (TOL) is a community of mental health awareness advocates that provides targeted suicide prevention initiatives, activities, and programs to young people and their families. It aims to empower young people to find their voice, connect with like-minded individuals, and respect and value their lives in an inclusive and safe environment. Among others, Talk Out Loud believes communication is the key to uplift mental health. It believes young people who suffer from suicidal bereavement should have a space to share and hear their stories.
Missee, author of the books Don't Stop, Smile for you, and You are Your Happiness, gladly shared her story in TOL last March. She shared the adversities she went through in life and how she coped up with those. Missee focuses on the beauty of life and how she is helping others get through it. As TOL quoted her: “We all have the opportunity to do what we love, but do we ever take it? If I could ask one question….what inspired you? What would your answer be?”
"I am a huge believer that happiness comes from within, that we need to believe in ourselves and who we are, we are allowed to change and should be happy to do so," said Missee. In addition, the author believes that we accept other people's opinions of us too much, none of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes…."life is different for everyone, and everyone's individuality is beautiful."
Thankful for the opportunity at TOL with its founder and CEO, Mary Galouzis, and the speaking engagement invitation by Connor Weste, Missee mentions that "there are beautiful people in this world sometimes where you least expect to find it." With the help of TOL supporters in the community like Manoj, who owns a cheesecake shop at Modbury in South Australia, the author could put up a stall in front of the shop on Mother's day. Through it, the author was able to meet with the locals and interact with hundreds of passersby. She regarded TOL people as having beautiful souls and kind hearts. As Missee puts it, "Kindness is not rare, it is out there ….one small act of kindness can be a seed and can blossom into something amazing."
Missee also stated that "there is still so much happening in the world, there is so much hurt, hate and sadness." And with these, Talk Out Loud's initiative and charity work, especially for the youth and the less fortunate, becomes socially relevant.
"I think back to how things were when I was younger, we didn't have mobile phones, and the social we had was with our friends out and about….we listen to music as it gets us through everything, we look at art and photography as it make us smile…" Missee recalls. "I believe that animals and children would have to be a huge happiness spike for a lot of people….when a child smiles and laughs, its like they are tugging at our inner child," she points out.
"Children are the future and we need to protect them and the world they are growing up in," Missee emphasized. With TOL, young people with a range of mental health conditions such as suicidal idealization and self-harm are empowered to get involved in different activities that strengthen self-awareness and self-belief. For more information about Talk Out Loud and how one can contribute to its advocacy, visit its website https://www.talkoutloud.com.au/.