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Jenny Jaffe is a comedian and the Founder of Project UROK (projecturok.org), a non-profit dedicated to combatting the isolation of mental illness through funny and meaningful videos. Hear Jenny discuss her own struggles with mental illness, how she came to found Project UROK and more about the non-profit. Jenny provides advice for those facing a tough time. She also shares what makes her laugh the most!
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Lipps On Life: Many people are struggling with something. For those in a current state of depression, unhappiness or going through a tough time, what advice, information, or other do you want to impart to them?
Jenny Jaffe: Well, the first thing is that if you are interested in free or cheap mental health care, we have a lot of resources on our website under the resources tab. Not just therapy finders but also crisis lines for countries all over the world and different sites that might give you a little insight into what you might be feeling. I guarantee that we have a video that will resonate with you because we have so many.
I think that one of the big things is to do whatever it takes to keep yourself going. If it’s just a tough time and you’re not feeling suicidal, just to let you know, everything goes up and down. Sometimes things go very down for a very long time but the pendulum will start to swing back, even if it’s slow, even if it’s slight.
And, if you’re in a really dark place, I’m really glad I didn’t kill myself. I don’t know if that’s helpful, but I think about that a lot. I think about how for so many years things were so bleak, my head didn’t seem a good place to continue living in and I just couldn’t see any of the good around me, really.
I wake up some mornings and think – I got so close to not being here for this. Just finding stupid ways to keep yourself going is one of my favorite bits of advice.
The world would be a worse place without you. I think that maybe that’s hard to hear, but it’s true…even for the smallest reasons, the world would be a much much worse place without you. You’re effecting so much more around you than you even know.
And if there’s any where you can reach out, anywhere that feels safe to reach out, do it. And you’ll be so surprised – people will help!
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