I am awake late again tonight, longtime sleep warrior that I am. Sleep and I, we have not yet found a way to comfortable exist together. I am forever hopeful. Bouts of insomnia tend to make one feel isolated, cut off from the world, so I try, these dark hours, to think of all the other people awake right now.
My name is Jean-Paul, and I am in treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Hearing me say that usually elicits one of two responses in people -- abject pity or recoiling fear. I want you to know that I understand where you're coming from, but allow me a few minutes to see if we can change this dialogue.
The plan was to drive off the neighbourhood bridge. It had one of those flimsy corrugated steel side rails at the bottom of a steep hill and curve. I always felt those railings were only a token effort to protect against plans such as this. I had spent the morning running errands and my two-year-old was fast asleep in her car seat in the back. I had installed that seat with the help of a police officer and I knew it was secure and designed to protect on impact. I could see her in my rearview mirror and had a moment of doubt thinking of what I would miss out on.
As a business owner, my employees' health and well-being is important to me. I know that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Here are a few suggestions on what we all can do to make our workplaces better for those who are living with mental health issues and in turn increase productivity.
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.