More and more patients are demanding answers to the root cause(s) of their symptoms, not wanting merely a suppressive "band-aid" approach. There are multiple factors that impact our health on a daily basis, and this couldn't be any truer when discussing mental health. Traditionally, many conditions labeled under the umbrella of "mental illness" were summed up solely as genetic or biochemical imbalances.
Bell Let's Talk Day inspired active online engagement, attracted celebrity endorsements and the attention of media, all the while raising vital charitable dollars. But a one-day social media event is not enough to significantly move the needle away from ignorance, fear and silence. After all, what happens the next day, and the day after that? Social change requires more than a social media plan. It requires a long-term sustainable strategy. Because in our content-rich, highly distracted world, passion is sometimes overrun by profit, causes are sidestepped by things like limited overhead and the desire to stay current fuels an unyielding need to move onto the next big thing.
So you've lost that lovin' feeling for your work. You feel stressed, overwhelmed and a lack of joy you once felt for your job, career or business. When you wake up in the morning, you dread at worst, or are indifferent at best, for what the day will bring. You might even be feeling powerless to continue on the path of making your dreams come true. If this sounds familiar, know you are not alone.
Mental illnesses are like pack animals. There is never just one without others lurking behind corners waiting to jump on us -- their weight holding us down; their teeth ripping through the flesh of our throat until we are too weak to fight back. As we lay bleeding and broken, available treatment is more difficult to reach.
Mental illness is one of the biggest predictors of inequitable access to care in this country. We know that having a mental illness means that you are far less likely to get the healthcare you need than someone without a mental illness and that mental illness is a bigger predictor of poor access to care than low income.
Bell Let's Talk day is about hope. It gives you a chance to take off your mask and talk about your pain. It allows you to mourn the loss of who you were and to say, "It's okay I'm like this now." It cracks open the darkness for a minute and gives you hope by letting you realize there are people who've made it out to the other side.
You may have noticed that your social media feeds have been inundated with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag. That's because Bell Let's Talk day is on Wednesday, January 28. We need workplaces that value their employees' mental health. Employers need to lead by example by recognizing workplace signs of undiagnosed depression, such as difficulty making decisions, decreased productivity, inability to concentrate and any unusual increases in errors in work, just to name a few.
To really nail the concept of what mental illness is and how it affects both those who live with it and those who live with us, here are a few tips to guide in what I hope will be an ever-growing trend to encourage communication and break down the stereotypes. So without further ado, here are things to refrain from saying to someone with mental illness.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for Canadian mental health advocates! Wednesday, January 28 is Bell Let's Talk Day. On Bell Let's Talk Day, conversations will be taking place online, in homes, schools, and offices across the country. All wonderful, but, will you be participating in these discussions by sharing your personal experiences? Many people won't.
Stanley Kutcher was stumped. The psychiatry professor from Halifax's Dalhousie University was in Malawi to develop a mental health program for rural communities when he learned from the locals that there was no word in Chichewa for depression. How do you diagnose and treat an illness that doesn't linguistically exist?
If you are among the lucky population who does react well to medication, taking a pill may allow you to work through the problems you're facing in therapy and hopefully you won't have to be on medication for the rest of your life. But the reality is that for some of us suffering from chronic mental illness, therapy isn't enough.
Dear Teacher: You called after me today. I was frustrated. Angry. Tired and lonely. And I didn't want to hear someone tell me for the bazillionth time all that I had done wrong. Tell me how I had been a bully. A bad boy. The truth is: I know. I know I am a bully. I have a hard time making friends because I'm different. But you took the time.