Mental Health – Helping to Lessen the Stigma

Over the last few years mental health awareness has been on the rise with the hope that the more we talk about it the less stigma there is on the issue.  With big companies like Bell Canada making their initiatives nationwide it certainly is helping.

Mental Health is one of the if not the most judged condition that I know of.  Having worked in the social service field for nearly twenty years, I will admit that when I was doing front line child protection, my least favorite cases were those that involved impaired mental health.  Let me explain.  I am a really good negotiator and reasoner.  I can go into a very heated situation and help to calm it down and come to a shared understanding.  I am pretty gifted with that.  But when you are trying to reason with someone who does not have the capacity to reason and a child’s well being is at stake it can sometimes feel that you are forced to punish one of the victims in the situation – the parent/caregiver.  I have to tell you, it was not the greatest feeling for anyone involved.

Impaired mental health is like a disease.  The stigma should be no different then if someone was diagnosed with cancer, the flu, or dermatitis.  There are treatments but no cure for those conditions right?  Well, depression, bi-polar disorder and anxiety are also conditions where there are treatments but no cures.  The effects can be equally as devastating.

The brain is a very complex organ.  Doctors and scientists are making huge strides everyday and the research is showing that many mental health diagnoses are due to chemical imbalances within the brain.  It is still not fully understood but as mentioned, doctors and scientists are learning more and more everyday.

As I mentioned above, big companies such as Bell have started initiatives in increase awareness, but it’s not only the big companies that are doing things to help educate and make the public aware.  There are people locally like my friend, Nicolle Stevenson, who are doing things right here in our own backyard to help  make a difference for people impacted by impaired mental health.

On August 13, 2017 Nicolle’s event, The MAMA (Mothers Advocating Mental Awareness) Project will be hosting an event to support, educate and encourage mamas who are on a journey to mental wellness.  Nicolle has advised that mental illness will affect 1 in 3 Canadians in their lifetime and the MAMA project was created to walk alongside those who need a hand along the way.  I will be a speaker at this event and I’m honored to be there to help.

It will be a great day.  Please plan to join us if you are in the London, ON area.  If you are not in the area, consider making a donation whether it be in volunteering information, supporting the members in the private group, or making a donation.  https://www.facebook.com/theMAMAprojectcanada/

See you there!  In the meantime, check out the video that Nicolle and I created with the help of Andrew Stephenson from Shake Media where we talk about our top ten tips to help take care of your mental wellness.

 

 

Believing in you always,

Jen

#SlayYourDay

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