Mental Health & Mindfulness: Diana Cusumano's Journey with JED
Posted on September 13 2018
My Path to Mental Health and Mindfulness
During those two years of my friend’s treatment for her clinical depression, I majored in Psychology and started exploring holistic remedies for anxiety and depression. That’s when my friend and I took our first yoga class together. I didn’t like it at first, but my friend took to it quickly and it was a major part of her healing.
It wasn’t until my own journey through depression and anxiety at the age of 25, and again at 31, that I rediscovered yoga and the power of our breath. This was key in my recovery and paved the pathway to self-love and understanding. I became a certified yoga instructor to deepen my practice and pass along this power of self knowledge to others.
I never forgot that night my friend opened up to me. To this day I am thankful that she had the courage to let me in and that I had the courage to talk with her directly about what she was going through and support her in getting the help she needed. I made a vow at that time that I would help others who were feeling lost, sad and depressed.
As a Campus Advisor, I work closely with colleges and universities nationwide on tasks like developing or re-writing their medical leave policies, strategizing on how to increase help-seeking behaviors on campus, decrease shame and prejudice surrounding mental health issues, and increasing social connectedness and community among students.
I also weave my passion for practicing and teaching mindfulness into my daily life at JED. I teach the power of breath, practicing the sacred pause, yoga, and self care to fellow colleagues. I am also developing and curating more mindfulness resources for our JED Campuses and the JED Community.
Working at JED is helping me to make a larger impact for our young adults and to give support to the college’s they attend.
I encourage you to take time for self-care each day whether that’s a yoga class, a brief walk outside, a mindful moment. It makes a big difference.
- Check out Press Pause, a campaign from JED and MTV, focused on simple mindfulness techniques to help manage common stresses and emotional challenges.
- Seize the Awkward, a campaign from JED, Ad Council and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, provides signs to watch out for and conversation starters to help you seize that awkward silence and talk to your friend about their mental health.
- You can also learn what to do if you’re worried about yourself or someone else at jedfoundation.org/help.
Anna Stripe legging and are donating a percentage of proceeds with each purchase to JED. Wearing these leggings with the pop of pink against the gray and black is a reminder that even with bad days, and hard times, there is always hope and brighter days ahead.
With light and love,
DianaP.S. If you or someone you know needs help now, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. For 24/7, free, confidential support, contact Crisis Text Line by texting 741-741 or call The Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Find more resources, learn about mental health and what to do if you’re worried about yourself or someone else at jedfoundation.org/help.