Keep Oregon Well is a public advocacy campaign designed to reduce stigma surrounding mental and behavioral health, build a trauma-informed community, and give people the opportunity to learn more about mental health and stand with those struggling with theirs.
This ongoing volunteer spotlight blog series features some of the many caring, talented, passionate people it takes to spread the word about Keep Oregon Well throughout Oregon!
Keep Oregon Well Volunteer Spotlight: Mila Miro
Why does mental health matter to you?
Good mental health has proved to be a cornerstone to leading a fulfilling life and crucial to being a positive role model for my son. I have come to know how deeply mental health is tied in with my physical, emotional and spiritual health.
I know people who struggle with mental health and I am a huge advocate for helping remove the stigma around it. In my own family, I have noticed a shift towards openness towards talking about and prioritizing mental health. I hope through my relationships and actions, I can help people realize the importance of mental health care in their lives.
What initially made you want to volunteer with Keep Oregon Well or Trillium?
I am so glad to find organizations that are working towards goals I care deeply about and realize are fundamental to our community. I made myself extra time in my week so that I could serve people in our community and Trillium’s work is right up my alley. Working with the children, especially during Self Care Day is rewarding. Seeing children be themselves and creating brings me joy.
Tell me about your favorite volunteer experience?
During my first experience of Self Care Day, there was this boy who told the whole room something to the effect of, “Don’t laugh at me, I’m going to paint my nails” and I loved how he was able to communicate what he needed and exactly what he wanted to do. Moments like these, when children feel comfortable in their own skin, are moments that make me smile the whole day and keep doing the work that I do.
Keep Oregon Well is centered around wellness and self-care. Tell us about some of the ways you take care of yourself.
Self care for me looks like saying a quick thank you in the morning and before meals or before I ride my bike to work. Self care is also stealing a few minutes here and there to read a book, cooking new dishes for dinner or writing until I feel light again. Any moment I am laughing, I am caring for myself. When I spend time with my loved ones, I feel care. Self care is a culmination of very small things I do every day to make sure I remind myself I am loved and worthy.
To close our chat today, do you have a favorite quote you would be willing to share?
“when the world comes crashing at your feet
it’s okay to let others
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable
of sharing your pain
I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately and how I play my part in helping to build it. A friend of mine once told me he starts by caring for himself, then his family, then his friends and so on and so on. So, as long as I consistently fill my cup everyday I know I will have the energy to give back to my community.
Is there anything you would add?
Thank you so much for allowing me to serve! It is a great privilege and pleasure to be a part of these children’s lives and to help in whatever small way I can. I believe every small contribution produces great rewards and I feel honored to be a part of the great work you are doing!