Here we are in the doldrums of February and with them Brooks and I have been discussing mental health. Mental health is a taboo subject no matter how progressive we think we’ve become. Hopefully we can get to a point where we can express that maybe we’re having a tough day. When people suffer from depression simple tasks such as getting out of bed, or brushing one’s teeth can seem gargantuan. Sometimes they feel their insides are twisted in a knot by anxiety. Those with PTSD may feel haunted by their memories every time they close their eyes. Maybe then we can help each other. This is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts. I’ve been pretty candid in my writing about some of our personal struggles. It can be difficult to find the help you need under normal circumstances, but past year with Covid, it’s been almost impossible as the healthcare field is stretched to a breaking point. Being socially distant also presents issue. No matter how introverted you are you still need human contact (I am a total introvert believe it or not). With a feeling that the future is so uncertain and we can top it all off with politics and media constantly dividing us adding more angst. It is a time to come together to help each other. Remember we really do care about our fellow man and their struggles.

With suicide on the rise we’ve been trying to brainstorm about how we can make a difference. Actually one night Brooks was reflecting, he had just heard about two men that committed suicide, we didn’t know them but they knew people we know. One a young man that just couldn’t see his future. The other a soldier that fought in the Middle East. We decided that there has to be something we can do in some way to help.

We own a fly fishing guide service so we’ve been thinking about the best way to use it to help people out. One thing about it is that is a job based on giving others something to look forward to along with a positive experience outdoors. As a guide Brooks had worked for outfitters that hosted trips both fishing and hunting for wounded warriors. We did look into that along with organizations that help first responders. The organizations we looked into were out of state and help people from all over the US. Although we would still like to help wounded warriors and first responders we decided to start locally. We decided that if we really want to do something, why not start right here in our own community. There are plenty of people right here in Montana that struggle every day and could benefit from having something to look forward to. Often those battling depression struggle to find that.

FACT: Montana ranks #1 in suicide

Which is why we are partnering with a local organization called Buckets of Love. We plan to raffle a guided fly fishing trip and donate as many others as the proceeds allow to locals in need. We are currently in early stages of planning. I will revise this blog accordingly. The raffle will take place April 3 2021. The trip being raffled will take place Saturday May 22, 2021 on the Missouri River. There are be several other items that can be won on the raffle. On further edits they will be listed here.

“Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes,
no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern, just the slow erosion
of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary
experience; a room in hell with only your name on the door.”
Martha Manning, Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface (1994)