A Small Volunteering Role that Created a Big Change

It seems so long ago in my mind, but only a few years ago, my life spiraled out of control. I had recently left a teaching job of my dreams, had a huge fall out with my best friend, and my marriage was dismantling before my eyes. This was not where I planned to be … Continued

About SidebySide

SidebySide is an educator, writer and a passionate advocate of mental health. She currently maintains a blog where she writes about her experience as a family member supporting (and being supported by) someone living with mental health challenges. She's also a part of Healthy Minds Canada's social media team and is currently volunteering with the Toronto Distress Center.


On preventing suicide: reflections from a family member

September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day. Much was discussed on this important day. The good news? Suicide is preventable. That exact thought, however, haunts a family that has lost a loved one to suicide. The regrets are undeniable. There is a plethora of what-ifs and should-haves that nag at you from within; the guilt … Continued

About SidebySide

SidebySide is an educator, writer and a passionate advocate of mental health. She currently maintains a blog where she writes about her experience as a family member supporting (and being supported by) someone living with mental health challenges. She's also a part of Healthy Minds Canada's social media team and is currently volunteering with the Toronto Distress Center.


Why does stigma stick? The fault is in our minds.

I’m going to ask you to picture someone with mental illness. Go ahead, take your time. What came to mind? Was it a middle aged woman shouting profanity on the bus? A creepy villain of your favourite thriller? Someone you saw on the news for violence, or perhaps murder? Maybe a little differently, an unemployed … Continued

About SidebySide

SidebySide is an educator, writer and a passionate advocate of mental health. She currently maintains a blog where she writes about her experience as a family member supporting (and being supported by) someone living with mental health challenges. She's also a part of Healthy Minds Canada's social media team and is currently volunteering with the Toronto Distress Center.


The hidden resource in mental health: friends and family (Part 2)

It took a serious amount of courage to write my previous post where I spoke about what it feels like to grow up in a family affected by mental illness. It was difficult for a couple of reasons: 1, I was making myself vulnerable by sharing my story. 2, I was also making my sister vulnerable by … Continued

About SidebySide

SidebySide is an educator, writer and a passionate advocate of mental health. She currently maintains a blog where she writes about her experience as a family member supporting (and being supported by) someone living with mental health challenges. She's also a part of Healthy Minds Canada's social media team and is currently volunteering with the Toronto Distress Center.


The Hidden Resource in Mental Health: Friends and Family (Part 1)

I am fascinated by the topic of mental health. I spend countless hours reading new studies, shuffling through blogs, attending workshops, listening to Ted Talks, watching documentaries – all to get a deeper and wider understanding of mental health and wellness. It’s almost an obsession. Almost. It’d be downright weird if I didn’t have a … Continued

About SidebySide

SidebySide is an educator, writer and a passionate advocate of mental health. She currently maintains a blog where she writes about her experience as a family member supporting (and being supported by) someone living with mental health challenges. She's also a part of Healthy Minds Canada's social media team and is currently volunteering with the Toronto Distress Center.