I’m sure you are and were aware that Bell had their let’s talk about Mental Illness. It’s a great cause.
I thought I’d start by posting this link from the Canadian Mental Health Association. http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.URrkkI4ow20
This is a simple list of fast facts for you. Here are some things that struck me personally.
If you look in the category of youth, you will notice Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
In Canada 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.
You may be thinking that I’m being overdramatic bringing up the word suicide, but the fact is that it’s an issue.
I know that being in church or religious circles, some of the conversation around depression and sadness has been tough. I have heard some preachers say that as a Christian, you shouldn’t be depressed because “you have Jesus”.
I have also heard in some cases that when I loved one dies and they are a Christian that to not be sad but “rejoice” as they are in Heaven. There have also been comments about demon possession when it comes to Schizophrenia. Some have had strong suggestions of prayer as a simple solution.
But religion is not the only culprit to this. Many have suffered in silence, while jokes have been made about certain mental conditions. This has led for some to remain silent in their struggle.
My own personal journey has a strong element of this. As a young boy, I was diagnosed with a learning disability. This led to some name calling of me. This shaped my own personal self esteem, self worth and of course my mentality.
So first of all, I think a huge thank you needs to be said to people like Clara Hughes and Bell for bringing this issue forward. Also, a huge thank you to those today that I have seen share their own journey.
The question remains: How are we doing overcoming the stigma and the perceptions surrounding mental illness?