Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019 – Mental Health Affects Us All
It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019!!
MENTAL HEALTH AFFECTS US ALL
I’ve paid out of pocket for a psychologist many times within the last fifteen years. I think I borrowed from my debt each time to cover the cost and to act when I needed it. I never regretted it, but I think about all the people who don’t have the option to borrow to get the care they need WHEN they need it. Stigma attached to mental illness prevents people from asking for help. Like any physical illness, if you don’t treat mental illness it can get worse and develop to a state of crisis for individuals and families. Stigma destroys lives. Like some physical illnesses, there are mental illnesses that need ongoing treatment. I’ve watched mental illness destroy relationships and take lives within my family, so this is something that I really care about. Not talking about the tough stuff (doesn’t have to be in public, can be privately with a health care professional or trusted person) can really build up to a crisis state. If we can’t get help from the people around us, we have to self-advocate until we get the help we need. Tell your doctor “I need help, please refer me to a mental health professional” even if it means getting on a waiting list. If the doctor isn’t listening, try a walk-in clinic or try calling a crisis line. Try asking your doctor what other options there are for mental health support in your area. Contact a local Mental Health organization like CMHA or CAMH.
Luckily I have a fantastic doctor who I can talk to about my mental health, if I can’t get to a mental health professional right away. It seems to be a regular part of our check-ups now, to touch base about my mental health and how it’s affecting my ability to work and my overall well being. I encourage everyone to keep talking, share your concerns with your doctors and local politicians and with each other. Keep advocating for yourself and your friends and families.
We may not have a perfect healthcare system, but there are many great things about it, and we can help make it better for everyone.
I’m hearing more and more stories of recovery after my shows, from people who are affected by and/or living with mental illness. It is these stories of LIGHT that bring inspiration and hope to this movement. When we can show that care is possible, and that healing is possible, other people take notice and it inspires them to fight for their own recovery.