It’s October 10th, making it World Mental Health Day.
Just because it’s today does not mean Mental Health should not talked about any other day. In today’s society, Mental Health has become a widely talked about illness. Days like today at the very least, bring global attention to an important conversation and provide an opportunity for people to share and speak up more publicly about their own experiences.
So what is mental health?
Mental health includes: emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
It affects how we think, feel & act. It also helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others & even make choices.
In Canada alone: One in five will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. The number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help is due to overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health.
In September I had the opportunity to listen to Michael Lansberg talk about his own struggle with depression. I couldn’t believe how many people had crowded into this tiny, cold room at 11 pm on a Saturday night. But we all sat, & listened, knowing we had a whole lot to learn. At the same conference, I met so many entrepreneurs who were struggling & had the heart to share their experiences with the battle. For many, these feelings are kept hidden, eating at you! But as Michael Lansberg repeated over & over, you are “Sick Not Weak”
Personally I am the type of person who keeps things completely bottled up, don’t get me wrong we all have our bad days. I personally have dealt with anxiety & have a daily fight with my mental health. But I have learned over time, that it is okay, & that I have my own story to tell. I might not open up about things but I know I am not alone & I am learning what works best for me. Not everyone has the same approach to things like this!
Thanks to the Calgary Counselling Centre & partners like Bell Let’s Talk, during Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 1-7), you can take a free, anonymous depression-screening test online. Depressing I know, but I felt like this was something worth sharing!
You can help end the stigma, here are some ways you can help!
& finally, here are a few things to remember:
- Educate yourself. Learn to recognize the signs and triggers.
- You are never alone.
- Some people will never understand what you are going through.
- You are not lazy. You are not weak. You are not a freak, sensitive soul, or irrational person. You are you.
- It’s true what they say. You can only help others when you help yourself, it isn’t selfish.
- Be kind to yourself!
Here are a few resources in Toronto:
- Stellas’s Place Toronto
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Ontario Telemedicine Network
- Children’s Mental Health Ontario
Mental health is extremely important at every stage of life, from childhood & adolescence all the way through adulthood. By talking about mental health & by bringing awareness to the topic, we are helping end that stigma.
Side note: Canadian friends Bell Let’s Talk day is January 30th, 2018. You know what to do!