“Not Alone” to Bring People Together from Across the Country During Holidays
In 1998, Toby Slough hit rock bottom. He couldn’t eat or sleep and his mind raced throughout the day. He tried to conceal his struggle to everyone around him, including his wife and children. It was a near encounter with ending his life that he realized he needed help. Since that day, Toby has been on a mission. First, it was to get well and then to identify tools to stay on the right side of his mental wellness journey. What Slough, a speaker and author, has learned is that isolation leads to more challenging mental health problems.
This holiday season, Slough will host a one-hour live event on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to connect with people across the country who may feel alone and to give them tools and resources to help in their mental wellness battle.
“Not Alone is the result of my struggles for the past 24 years,” said Slough, the founder of Goby International, an organization with a mission to reframe conversations regarding mental wellness. “I isolated myself from the people who cared about me most which took me down a dark road. We are meant for community, not to be alone in our thoughts and fears. Not Alone is meant to connect people to each other on these particular two days of the year that can be extremely isolating.”
Anyone who is looking for encouragement and to get connected to others who are pursuing a healthy life can join Not Alone on Sunday, December 25 and Sunday, January 1 at 11:00 am CST. The live events will be hosted on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
During the Not Alone broadcast, Toby Slough will talk about the energy it takes to fight for mental wellness; how isolation fuels the imagination and battling through negative thoughts. Slough will address the days ahead and provide tools to help overcome anxiety as well as invite guests to share their story.
“We must have more conversations about mental wellness in our communities,” states Slough. “Not Alone is a great way to start to dialogue. When we empower people to talk about mental wellness, we create a new normal.”
Information regarding the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) will be available during both broadcasts to support people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
A 2021 survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found 3 in 5 Americans feel their mental health is negatively impacted by the holidays.Approximately 60 percent of people report an increase in anxiety and 52 percent feel an increase in depression during the same time frame.
“Mental illness does not have to have power over our lives,” Slough continues. “It should not tear down the identities and hopes of future generations. Not Alone is meant to be another strategy in dealing with anxiety and depression. On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, which can be very isolating, we will have a conversation with people who want to be a part of a community.”
Goby International was established to globally provide comfort, hope, and community by empowering those who are battling for their mental wellness. Goby is a community of real people helping one another swim upstream, much like the goby fish swims up mountainous Hawaiian streams.