Why I Can’t Take Medication

Trigger warning: Talk of suicide and suicidal thoughts/emotions The use of psychiatric drugs (psych drugs) to treat mental health concerns can be a hot topic. There is an internal and external stigma attached to taking these drugs. There are numerous posts written by individuals with lived experience stating their reasons for using psych drugs to … Continued


Understood, Heard, Validated, Accepted.

**Warning: mentions of self-harm (cutting) and suicide** When I was growing up I was the happy, quiet, smiley kid. I did well in school, followed the rules – “goody two shoes”, “jesus freak”, and “innocent” were all words too familiar to me. Looking back I think my innate need to follow rules and be in … Continued


What To Give a Hoot About

This winter was brutal. After a long and sunless couple of months, I feel like I am finally waking up. As much as I wish my spirit animal was an enthusiastic teacup pig, I know I embody many more of the qualities of a hibernating brown bear. I feel better. Between the improved weather, bedtime … Continued


Seeing

The French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote “The whole of life lies in the verb ‘seeing’.” Yet, many of us go through our lives without seeing. We flit from moment to moment, observing none of them, always anticipating the future or lost in the past. Certainly, as someone who suffers from depressive episodes, the … Continued


Access to Care in Ontario

There is a common conversation for those working in or educating others regarding the differences between equity and equality. We highlight equity is not synonymous with equality, and that we cannot expect things to be the same for every person. What happens though if neither equity or equality are present? Is that even possible? The … Continued


The Paradox Facing Mental Illness Sufferers

There is a luxury that people with well-known physical illnesses enjoy that doesn’t apply to those with a mental illness. If you are diagnosed with heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes or any other common physical illness, those around you will immediately understand what is happening to you. That immediate (and complete) understanding will allow … Continued


How I cope with my trauma

  It took me a while to come to terms with my trauma. I had always associated trauma with big events like war, natural disasters or assaults. I didn’t think the emotional abuse I experience counted, but it does (emotional abuse is a big event, just in my mind at the time it was not). A … Continued


Let’s Feel What We Feel

Have you ever felt embarrassed about something you’ve said, or something you’ve done? Probably all of us right? Have you ever felt ashamed about something you’ve said, or something you’ve done? We’re probably slower to admit this one, but still probably most of us right? Now, have you ever felt embarrassed or ashamed about your … Continued


On Seizing Opportunity

I’ve had a great deal of good fortune in my journey from the brink of death until today. I admit this. However, some of that good fortune has arisen because I’ve seized an opportunity. One such opportunity has been the privilege of writing for Healthy Minds Canada over the past 15 months. I saw a … Continued


A Case for Self-Care

With the ever-increasing awareness of mental health issues, we’ve likely come across the concept of self-care as it pertains to reducing stress and managing mental illness. If you’ve been encouraged to take a bath on occasion, exercise, or unwind with a glass of wine the evening, it might have been in the name of self-care. … Continued


Maybe we should be watching 13 reasons why

If you haven’t watched it or heard all of the chatter regarding it, 13 Reasons Why is the latest Netflix hit. The show depicts the events leading up to – and shortly after – the suicide of its main character, Hannah. Hannah leaves a series of tapes for 13 people who she feels “played a … Continued


Get Back to Basics

~This week, May 1st-7th 2017 is The Canadian Mental Health Association’s 66th annual Mental Health Week. Through their various initiatives and the hashtag #GETLOUD, the overriding goal is to increase the awareness of mental health throughout Canada. If you are interested in more information or are looking for resources, check out their public toolkit here. ~   Over the last … Continued



Answering the questions you’d never ask a suicide survivor

*Trigger Warning*: Talk of suicide I recently saw a video clip from an Australia-based TV show called “You Can’t Ask That!” The show asks members of marginalized groups questions that people may be thinking and do not ask. The goal of the show is to provide individuals from marginalized groups the opportunity to answer these … Continued


Let’s Get Real

I’ve been trying to write this post for days and I don’t know how without addressing something first. Mental Health is such a buzzword these days isn’t it? It’s a hot topic people want to talk about, me included. I worry though that I’ve gotten caught up in the buzz, having the right pens, notebooks, … Continued


It Takes Work

I liken my support system to the three legs of a stool. So long as all three legs are in balance, the stool – my recovery – is stable. Previously, I shared with you the roles played by psychotropic medications and talk supports. In this post, I’ll discuss the third leg of the stool, the … Continued


Being Helpful to your Mentally Ill Loved One

In writing for Healthy Minds Canada, I’ve come to realize that my honesty seems to resonate with people who may be suffering from mental illness and its associated complications. Up to this point, however, I haven’t fully engaged with a group of people who are so essential to the recovery and wellness of people who … Continued


Parents Need Support

  Mental health seems to be on everyone’s radar right now – there are fundraisers, movements, ways to change your Facebook postings. It almost seems as though mental health is suddenly….SEXY?! Can that be possible?  For caregivers, parents, loved ones of those living with mental illness we know that is not the case. Mental health … Continued


Capturing Mental Illness in Images

The cliché is old and well-worn, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true: a picture is worth a thousand words. That is why, during my keynote presentations on mental illness and stigma, I often rely on evocative images which help capture and explain what mental illness is truly like. Having experienced the dramatic symptoms of … Continued


#Lets(actually)talk: How We Can Do More

Ahh, hashtags. What a revolution they have caused, huh? Since the origin of the #hashtag on social media (likely the brain child of a Limewire Chat Room and the Facebook ‘Like’ Button), everything has changed. The way we find our information, make interpersonal relationships, and experience life has changed, thanks to social media. One of … Continued