Embracing Life’s Transitions: Shaping the way we talk about mental health

Life transitions have a remarkable way of fostering empathy

Talli Goldman-Dolge (KSAT)

Change is inevitable. It comes in many forms — subtly or abruptly — shaping the course of our lives.

After nearly a decade in the vibrant city of San Antonio, my husband and I are embarking on a new chapter as we prepare to move to the East Coast. Though bittersweet, these transitional periods have given me a profound perspective on how we view and discuss mental health.

Through my experiences as an advocate, speaker, executive leader and a person living with a mental illness, I have witnessed firsthand how life transitions bring forth emotions, challenges and opportunities for growth and understanding.

The Power of Life Transitions

As humans, we encounter numerous life transitions, from starting a new job or moving to a different city to entering a new phase of life. These transitions bring forth a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from excitement to apprehension, from hope to anxiety.

During these emotional storms, we have the chance for introspection, reflection and learning.

Leaves changing colors in the Buttonbush Nature Area in Ann Arbor. (Credit: Michael Hahn, NAP Supervisor)

Acknowledging Emotions

Life transitions force us to confront and acknowledge our emotions.

While bidding farewell to San Antonio, I find myself flooded with a mix of nostalgia, anticipation and even a sense of loss.

However, these overwhelming emotions have allowed me to turn inward and examine my mental well-being. By embracing and understanding my feelings, I can better prioritize my mental health needs and seek support when necessary.

Cultivating Empathy

Life transitions have a remarkable way of fostering empathy.

As I embark on this new journey, I am reminded that I am not alone in feeling uncertain or emotional. Every person goes through similar challenges, providing an opportunity to empathize and connect with others.

By leveraging this newfound understanding, we can create a supportive environment where conversations about mental health flourish.

Normalizing the Conversation

One of the by-products of life transitions is the normalization of conversations surrounding mental health.

When we openly discuss the emotional changes experienced during these transitions, we break down the stigma that shrouds mental health.

By sharing our stories and challenges, we create an atmosphere of acceptance, enabling others to feel comfortable sharing their struggles.

Through this normalization, we open doors for support, compassion, and growth.

Click the photo below to listen to episodes of Talli’s “From Living in Silence to Living Out Loud” mental wellness podcast.

'From Living in Silence to Living Out Loud' debuts with host Talli Dolge's personal story with mental health

Facilitating Personal Growth

Life transitions act as catalysts for personal growth and resilience.

As we navigate through change, we develop the ability to adapt and cope with challenges.

These experiences demonstrate that mental health is not synonymous with weakness; it illuminates our inner strength and resilience, showcasing our capacity to overcome adversity and grow as individuals.

While often daunting, life transitions provide invaluable lessons and perspectives shaping how we discuss mental health.

As my journey takes me from the warm embrace of San Antonio to the unknown adventures of the East Coast, I am reminded of the ongoing work required to prioritize mental wellness.

By acknowledging our emotions, cultivating empathy, normalizing conversations and embracing personal growth, we can create a society that values open dialogue surrounding mental health.

Let us seize the opportunities life transitions offer, fostering understanding, compassion and support for all.

Together, we can change the narrative and truly make a difference in those with mental illnesses’ lives.

I want to thank KSAT and all the incredible people who have helped to get the message of the importance of mental health and wellness out to the community. The passion and drive to ensure everyone understands these pivotal conversations have been life-changing. Thank you for helping to shape the narrative for the positive surrounding mental health. I am forever grateful.

About the Author

Talli Dolge is the host of the KSAT video podcast "From Living in Silence to Living Out Loud." She is the founder and creator of the Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative. She has also contributed on-air and online for KSAT 12 since 2020. Talli earned a Master's Degree in School/Community Counseling from SUNY.

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