It is hard for me to believe that it has been a year since I began blogging with Healthy Minds Canada. I have a journal in which I write a few things about my day each night before I go to sleep and the entry for February 10, 2014 records my excitement about being chosen to be one of their first mental health bloggers. I have so enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts, ideas, and journey this past year.
And what a changing and winding road it has been: from job loss to my return to graduate school, exploring my own mental health challenges to supporting my older son through his, compassion, kindness and SADness, my beautiful dogs and my favourite frog. I have been honoured to share my stories and to read those of my fellow bloggers. Writing my blog posts have given me the heart and determination to make the leap of faith I needed to pursue a new career in mental health training and advocacy, beginning with my return to school full-time to complete my Master of Education degree. I am now officially halfway through my second term and I know it has been the right decision for me, affirming that you really can teach an old(er) dog new tricks. I have spent much of my time over the last few months considering the principles that inform my practice as a mental health educator and advocate: I am deeply committed to supporting and facilitating the process of personal empowerment for people living with mental illness through the promotion of a recovery-oriented, person-centred, strength-based model of care that considers the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – and respects each individual’s unique definition of recovery, hope, meaning and purpose, and their right to equality of inclusion in their community. I will work hard to uphold these core values and beliefs.
And, while I will be stepping away from my biweekly gig, I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to continue to post blogs from time to time with Healthy Minds Canada. In the interim, I am creating the foundations needed to continue to build my own career in mental health education, starting with the launching of my own site: SilverLiningFrog. The frog, a symbol of transformation, represents the changes – both positive and negative – that are an inevitable part of life; the silver lining reminds me that I can choose to create meaning and purpose out of even the darkest of times. I hope that you will visit me there and I look forward sharing our continued journey together.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. – Desmond Tutu
About Susan Mifsud
Susan Mifsud is a 49 year old mother of two adult sons who has worked in university administration for the last 25 years. She is an active volunteer and advocate in support of the elimination of stigma and shame related to mental illness and addiction. Follow Susan’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds blog or additionally follow Susan on Twitter.