The Crusader Newspaper Group

Why Storytelling is the Key to Healthy Mental Health

The art of storytelling has a more significant effect than it’s often accredited. Taking simple steps can lead beyond just writing and a career, as it did for Army Veteran Monia Caviness.

Nowadays, I ask myself more frequently, “how am I doing mentally?” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with self-care or taking a break. Mental stability is the keen reason why I started a career in cinematography. After coming off of the active-duty Army, I discovered that narrating my story would help others figure out theirs. Being able to tell a story about how you are feeling inside could help release mental pressure.

Some may never realize the pressure they’ve built inside until it’s too late. That’s how I found a connection between storytelling and maintaining my mental stability. I started writing. Writing gave me an outlet to desensitize some things that were hurting me mentally.

Creating my own stories and sharing them with others became therapeutic for me. Hearing others share their stories and realizing we all are different but share stories made me optimistic. After sharing some of my stories with friends and family members, I realized how much I could help others.

It wasn’t easy at first for me to open up about personal things. Then, once I started to tell my stories, I felt relieved of the burdens I carried for years. Family and friends told me how proud they were of me and how much I would help others tell their stories. At first, I wasn’t sure if I could do it because it wouldn’t be easy to handle. Sharing personal information to develop a story isn’t an easy thing to accomplish.

It’s not easy asking someone who you don’t know if they’re willing to express themselves about what’s going on in their minds. Creating cinematography alone made me want to tell more of my stories to build a connection with anyone unsure about opening up to me. I figured once they see that I’m willing to express myself openly, then it’s possible for them too.

Storytelling to me is beautiful when it’s told from the heart, even if it’s exciting or not. Rather than basing it on fiction or nonfiction, stories can touch someone in ways we can’t imagine.

Story writing gives me the evocative feeling of being the creative artist I’ve always wanted to become. Connecting my mental health as a storyteller is just another positive way to understand what I can accomplish or be. I’ve written fiction and nonfiction stories to communicate with readers on different levels.

I have so many stories; the only thing missing is a way for me to release them to the world. Once I figure that part out, I plan to share all my stories with anyone willing to listen. Currently, I’m in film school, learning how I can bring all my writings to life. I can’t wait to put visuals with the many stories I’ve written, and hopefully, it will be soon.

Monia Caviness is a Woman Veteran Media Professional, a student, and an intern with SHE VETTM Media. She’s a contributor who writes articles for She Served~She Matters and SHE Voices online magazine. She joined the army in 2011 and is currently transitioning into a different career path in media. Her accomplishments during active duty include two tours to Afghanistan. After transitioning, she successfully held a career in law enforcement and high-performance security management. Now, she’s learning the skillset of cinematography and filming, which serves her ability to transition into the workforce as a creative professional and gracefully acquire the skills of self-expression.

She’s looking forward to taking her talents and success to the next level in the entertainment industry. Transition- ing isn’t always easy. Monia’s story is one of many women veterans have shared while learning to adapt to a world we’ve become unfamiliar with after serving.

We are activating the writing skillset because we understand it’s the basics of a solid foundation for self-expression, healing, and positive outcomes. If you would like to learn more about the SHE VET Internship Program, contact us at

Sistah Soldier is an intuitive influencer who provides multimedia platforms for women veterans to narrate their stories, step into God’s call for their lives using their creative skills, and inspire others. She’s the CEO, Host, and Executive Producer of the SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show and the Executive Recruiter for SHE MediaTechTM.

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