Mental health superhero living in Toronto. She hates stigma and loves coffee. Follow her @asraimun
Alicia Raimundo has been described as a "mental health superhero," battling serious bouts of anxiety, depression and a suicide attempt since the age of 13. More recently, she used her move to the university as a catalyst to seek help, and eventually, to help others. Since then, she has, given two TEDxTalks, was named one of 2012 "faces of mental illness," spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative and recently returned from speaking at the UN’s international youth day at the UN headquarters in New York. She published red carnation, a book on suicide prevention that will be used in Grade 8 classrooms across Canada and represented Canada in Thailand at one young world.
If you are following the 13 Reasons Why conversation online right now, you know that it's a very hot topic. People have expressed very well thought out critiques on it (see this for example) and every...
As I got older -- I played different games. They helped me learn to solve complex puzzles, have someone to connect with and talk to through the game's chat, and created a community that allowed me to be myself. Of course -- like with every community -- there were bullies, predators, and all around terrible people. But you can find them, block them and keep going.
I have told the story of stopping a young man who almost ended his life at a subway station. But my retelling of that story has always been incomplete. The truth is, the day I stopped that man from ending his life was the same day I was planning to end my life in the same way.
The holidays can be great for some, but for me, and many people I know, they are more of a nightmare. So how do we move past this? I am going to share with you a couple ideas that I have had that have worked for me ( they may not work for everyone). I am sharing these things in the interest of conversation.
The thing is, I have always been sad and worried. It's stuck on me like gray toned glitter -- it clouds everything I do and no matter what I do it's never fully gone. When I realized I was different from other kids, I didn't know what to do. I was always sad and worried. Worried that people would notice me for being different and make fun of me. Sad because even when I tried to fit it -- I always felt like I couldn't do it right.
Whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, the summer is coming to an end and young people everywhere are gearing up to go back to school. It can be an exciting time but also a stressful time, especially for those of you who are going into university/college or a new school for the first time.
As a tool, Pokemon Go has changed my life. It's such a simple tool (and let's face it, not a great app or game as it crashes constantly and is riddled with server issues) but it's vastly improved my mental and physical health in the two weeks I have been using it.
As you might have seen, adult colouring books are really popular right now. You might be asking yourself why these books are so popular. Colouring is a great way to focus your brain on something small and fun to take the focus away from worried or depressed thoughts.
As a mental health advocate, I was addicted to appearing to be recovered. I was afraid to admit that I am living with an eating disorder. Afraid that it meant the messages I was telling people about recovery being possible wasn't true. That living with an eating disorder, while being highlighted as recovered, meant I was a fraud.
I have been to 14 funerals since turning 17 years old. Fourteen people who were friends, co-workers, crushes, debate partners, school mates and amazing members of the world's community. Fourteen people whose families and friends I sat next to at funeral services, whom I heard whisper "If I would have known," "How could I miss the signs?" and the awful "How could they do this to us?"
We can't be the taxi companies, Blackberry or other organizations that refused to adapt and change. We need to keep improving, listening and being better. It's not enough just to be the best of bad. We need to be actually good. Making hard choices that result in better and more effective services.