Saving Lives While Sipping Coffee: Beth Leigh, Mental Health Advocate

When's the last time your coffee mug helped save a life?

For mental health advocate Beth Leigh, the answer is "today."

Beth is a suicide survivor and artist who has dedicated her life to helping others fight mental illness. Today, she took her "Mental Health Matters" mug to a meeting. It sparked some conversation, then something amazing happened:

"I reintroduced myself as a mental health advocate and suicide survivor. Without skipping a beat, a woman walks up and says, ‘I believe my friend is suicidal and has postpartum depression. She doesn’t speak English. Where can she go?’ I immediately gave her the Spanish Suicide hotline information. I will probably never know the outcome of the young lady but I do know that the mug helped get resources to her.”

Isn't that incredible?

And let's be real: the mug didn't get resources to the suicidal young lady. Beth did.

But would the conversation have started without the mug? Would the other woman have known that Beth could help her?

There's no way to know.

But this much is obvious: the mental health community needs people like Beth. People who openly and courageously share their stories. People who extend a helping hand to those who are still suffering. People who walk into a meeting carrying a "Mental Health Matters" mug with a sincere desire to spark conversations.

So from all of us to you, Beth: a big hug and a bigger thank you. This is how we fight stigma. This is how we make progress. This is how we heal.

If you'd like to learn more about Beth, check out her Instagram @frankleighart. Her art is available at http://www.frankleighart.com/ and she donates a portion of all proceeds to Suicide Prevention and Mental Illness Awareness.

If you have any stories about your mug that you'd like to share, please get in touch:

Want a mug like Beth's? She loves the green "Mental Health Matters" mug.

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