Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada

14484981_1337693166248532_5990790328066553342_nWhat about mental illness are you not aware of?  Do you discriminate against people who have a mental illness?

Do you know if you have or have had a mental health issue?  Do you know if anyone in your family has a mental illness?  Do you know if anyone you work with has a mental illness?

Do you know where to go for help if you or any of these people need it?

What would you do if someone you work with suddenly presented with symptoms of a psychotic episode?  Would you turn your back or would you try to find some answers for them.

What would you do if your friend said they were going to kill themselves?  Would you know who to call or what questions to ask?

What would you do if you met a woman in the grocery store who was not able to move or catch her breath because she was having an anxiety attack?  How could you help?

Each one of us has the capacity to support people who have mental illness.  The only ingredient necessary is the desire to be compassionate and the ability to ask questions.  If all you can do is sit with someone for a while until help comes that is enough.  If you know how to find a local on-call mental health team or hospital you can generally find help.  If you have a computer and the internet you can learn about mental illnesses.  Knowledge is power but ignorance is stagnation.

There isn’t enough service to help and there never will be.  There isn’t enough political will to make mental health a priority.  There aren’t enough community services, councellors, therapists, psychiatrists, or peer supporters to do all the work that is needed but if Canadians changed their attitude about mental illness and took it as seriously as cancer or heart disease all of that would change.

If you want to be part of the solution start by educating yourself.

Below are some links which may help.

A report published by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. 

 Mental Illness Awareness Week Facebook Page

Canadian Mental Health Association 

Mental Health Commission of Canada

 

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About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises, I work as an "Associate Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and soon to be, spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 20 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. My own passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director. I am studying with the Ontario Jubilee Program. This new field I believe puts all my talents with people into one place which and may​ become something I can continue into retirement. Supporting people is what I do best. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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