Feb 12th it’s Canada’s Mental Health Day – we will be reminded why taking care of our minds is important, statistics will be shared on how many Canadians have been affected with mental health and cases of lives taken by this disease. At some point in our lives we have or will encounter low or sometimes dark days. We are encouraged to TALK about it and STOP the silence’ it’s the silence that can lead to mental depression and sadly physical death.
None of us regardless of our age, gender, race, employment or financial status are immune from being affected by depression or dark days. Rick Rypien, a Vancouver Canucks player lived with depression and sadly took his life last August 2011 at the young age of 27.
The saying “ I’m taking a mental health day” is usually only associated with taking a day off work, (though that is sometimes the case and warranted). Mental health days should be included as part of sick days assigned by employers, but in most cases those sick days are only for the body. How many of us stop during each week for a “mental health check-up or break? We need to incorporate that into our lives. Why? According to stats obtained and published by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) “It is estimated that 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness each year. More than 70 per cent of adults living with a mental illness say the onset occurred before age 18.” http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/Pages/National_Child_Youth_Mental_Health_Day.aspx
The mind matters! Focusing on exercising and maintaining a healthy mind should be talked about and encouraged more than exercising the body. If as an individual, a family, a society, a country, and a world we begin to speak more openly about mental health, and go a step further to ask “how is your mental health?”, we will hear of less lives being loss from living alone with mental health issues.
I am happy that awareness on mental health in Canada is no longer taking a back seat. It’s great to see large companies like Bell as an active sponsor and promoter of Mental Health Day http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ with the message “let’s talk”. Kevin Bieska from the Vancouver Canucks is now speaking out on the importance of mental health http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLm1KvYAjS4
BC Health has created this site http://mindcheck.ca/ to assist young people and provide them tools in identifying, understanding mental distress, and provide them find the support and skills that will empower them to TALK and move away from living with depression in silence.
It only takes one person to start a strong support system. I am thankful for the strong support system of my partner, family and close friends that I go to when those dark moments or days come. I am grateful to have a voice to TALK, and not be silent.
Please don’t live alone in silence, find someone today to TALK to; someone is waiting to listen and help.
How is your mental health? If you’re confronted with low, dark moments or days periodically or on a daily basis how do you deal with it?
To your Health and Enjoyment!