We need to do better

I hesitated in sharing this particular column on my blog, but felt the message is worth the post. As much as this is about Chester Bennington’s suicide, it’s also bigger than that. Chester’s tragic end after a frightening and difficult battle only comes to the forefront of conversation because he, like many other celebrities, are already in the spotlight. But every day, there’s a Chester, a Robin, or a Chris we don’t actually hear about. Every day, someone takes their[Read more]

It’s okay to admit you’re struggling

It's okay to admit you're struggling

I sat at the desk in my office, staring at the computer screen with tears in my eyes. There was no reason to be crying; nothing had happened to make me upset. But there I was, tears and all. A deep, dark, unsettling feeling lay heavy on my heart. It was the kind of feeling capable of making you believe something is going seriously, horribly wrong. I was devastated and I had no idea why. If I’m being honest, I[Read more]

Don’t fear the mess

mess

We live in a world obsessed with perfection. With the rise of social media programs designed to showcase our lives to the world through series of comments, snippets, and photos, we pick the best, add a filter, and publish. Much like Photoshop allows an artist or photographer to erase the blemishes, tidy up the blurred lines, tone, tighten, and brighten, our phones allow us to touch-up the world around us, projecting the image of how we want our lives to[Read more]

A crying need for resources

resources

One of the biggest battles in the mental health community supersedes the need to end stigma, settling on the area of recovery. Endless resources are poured into raising awareness, and while it is of great importance, access to services are even more important. Canada has an incredibly long way to go when it comes to appropriate medical access for people with mental illnesses, eating disorders, depression, and so on. Counsellors and therapists properly trained in these areas can be hard[Read more]

For I know the plans I have for you…

I remember running into someone I had known before my life changed drastically from my mental breakdown. We spoke briefly about the struggle I had faced and why I left the Christian camp I worked at because of it. Noticing the tattoo script on my arm, they quickly said ‘Let me guess, Jeremiah 29:11?’ When I said yes, I received a knowing smirk and an eye roll. I know why that specific verse caused such a reaction. The frustration I[Read more]

This is Mental Health

These days, it’s fairly common knowledge that mental health issues are far more widespread than we could have ever imagined. We know the statistics – over the past decade medical professionals and others passionate about making the issues known have rallied behind the banner to end stigma and spoken up. Talk is required to get the conversation going, but as the old cliché says, talk is also cheap. Despite people’s best efforts, not a lot of progress has been made.[Read more]

Let’s talk and keep the conversation going

conversation

Mental Health care in Canada has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. One in five Canadians will experience some kind of battle with mental health in their lifetime. That’s a minimum of 25%. While Bell Let’s Talk day is certainly far from perfect, it can be used as a tool to help by driving conversation in the right direction. Although I know people, like myself, who have been helped by the system, I[Read more]

Control is an illusion worsening anxiety

control

Living by faith when you are a person who needs to be in control is difficult. Although there are many reasons driving the need to constantly be in control, it is not something easily turned off. In my case, the overwhelming need to be in charge, to control my life, is a mixture of the effect of my mental illnesses and unresolved issues from childhood. If I am in control, I cannot be hurt and I only fail based on[Read more]

My mental illness taught me to fight for myself

If you asked me 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago, I would have scoffed at the notion. All my Bipolar did was set me up for failure. Failure is an interesting thing — especially when the root comes from something you have no control over. It tends to do one of three things: cause you to give up, cause you to give in, or cause you to stand up and fight. I wish I could say I[Read more]

Tonight, are you willing to save a life?

It was Christmas Eve of the year 2000, and the night couldn’t have gone more horribly wrong. I stared at my image in the mirror; blotchy red spots, a tear-streaked face, and eyes that hadn’t sparkled in months. The bags under my eyes were massive, and the crushing feeling in my chest left me feeling like I was suffocating. My parents and I had fought over dishes, but it felt like so much more to me. Just one more thing[Read more]