It is the 66th Annual CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Mental Health Week. For sixty-six years people have been talking about mental health but there is still a lot of work to do! The stigma that holds people back from reaching out for the help they need has to be removed.
We need to #GETLOUD from May 1 – 7 (and always) to raise awareness and build support. Someone may need help but may be too scared to ask for it. We need to say it loud and clear: mental illness is not a weakness and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Over the past few years I began a healing process and have learned a lot about myself. Speaking out about my trials and tribulations has helped me heal. Early on I lacked the tools and support I needed. One of the keys to reducing the stigma is supporting those who need help.
When someone reaches out to you, listen to them and take their concerns seriously. Mental illness effects everyone differently so instead of offering advice, ask how you can help them. What do they need in their life at that particular moment? Let’s all make the commitment to support people who reach out for help!
In 2015 I went to Toronto for a weekend away by myself and attended a Steeped Tea conference (I am a former consultant). I attended the conference for personal growth and not necessarily business growth. I had the opportunity to meet Sandi Treliving who is a Director at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Sandi was there with Jim Treliving, her husband who is Steeped Tea investor from Dragons Den. I had a brief conversation with her and shared a little bit about myself and my goal to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health.
It is the encounters we have by fluke that really impact our lives. I had no idea that Sandi would be at the conference and I only knew a little bit about her work because of Jim and Steeped Tea.
I joined Steeped Tea to get a discount on loose leaf tea but I got so much more out of it. From the moment I met Sandi, I made a renewed commitment to myself to advocate for mental health support, education, and services.
Be well and #GETLOUD