The Importance of Community in Mental Health: How Being Part of TBF Has Been Healing

Written By TBF Ambassador, Cat Navarro Lee

In honor of mental health awareness month, I wanted to share how being part of The Bee Foundation has made a positive impact on my mental health. Becoming involved with this organization as an awareness ambassador has been both therapeutic and empowering in ways I didn’t expect when I first became involved.

When I first found out about the Bee Foundation, I was anxious and unsure about how I wanted to move forward in treating my unruptured brain aneurysm. I felt incredibly alone and terrified. Reading other’s stories gave me a sense that there were other people out there who had already been through similar struggles. This definitely gave me the strength and courage to move forward with treating my brain aneurysm. After this, I was able to share my own story which gave me a sense of strength. By sharing my story and encouraging others on their own journey, I felt that I was taking back a sense of control over a situation that had initially felt very out of control.

As I have gotten further involved with The Bee Foundation, I have found that the stories of other ambassadors reflect my own sentiments of finding comfort and empowerment amongst fellow survivors. During the recent brand ambassador retreat that I attended, I got the honor of interviewing some of my fellow awareness ambassadors. One of the main questions that I asked them was what they had learned from other ambassadors. What stood out to me was how emotional everyone got as they talked about finding hope and realizing they are not alone. Being supported and seen gave many of us the strength to not only share the deepest parts of our stories, but to take on other endeavors with courage. At the retreat, each ambassador was seen in a unique light and contributed their own unique talents to the events. TBF founders helped cultivate and encourage this and reminded us that we all had something special to share- not only with each other, but with the world.

I recognize that the strength the ambassadors found from their involvement at the Bee Foundation is the solidarity and power of community. It is the strength of truly seeing one another and recognizing we all have been through incredible struggles but we are not broken. As someone who has been in therapy and been treated for my mental health since I was a teenager, I realize that there are some forms of healing that are best done in community. I have come to realize that there is nothing quite like immersing oneself in community and collectively trying to help others for a powerful cause. I have learned that we are all strong in our own ways, but even stronger together.