In line at the grocery store yesterday I had a really good chat with a stranger about Robin Williams and mental health. Robin is on the cover of pretty much every magazine in the check out line and his death has started an important conversation that we need to be having. I am still genuinely devastated by his death and by the amount of pain he was in. It's still really hard for a lot of people to talk about mental health and mental illness, and hopefully Robin Williams can be the catalyst that gets people talking so they can get the help they need to battle it.

According the Canadian Mental Health Association:

Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
The chances of having mental illness in your lifetime is 1 in 5.
Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague

I have anxiety. I have friends and family with anxiety and depression. I have friends and family with addiction issues. I worked in social services for many years and have worked with both colleagues and clients who struggled with mental illness. One of the repeated headlines I saw after Robin Williams death was "depression is real". It most certainly is and I think talking more openly about it is a good step towards getting people the help they need.

If you think you may be struggling with mental illness, please talk to someone. You do not have to go through it alone.

The following are some Canadian resources for depression and anxiety.

Depression Hurts

Check Up From The Neck Up

Anxiety BC

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

Canadian Mental Health Association

Also the more we talk about it, the more we can try to end the stigma associated with mental illness. Check out Bring Change 2 Mind for more information.

http://bringchange2mind.org/


Posted by Jen B On Thursday, August 21, 2014 9 comments

9 comments:

  1. as a social worker with a background in chemical dependency counseling, i know first-hand the devastating effects of mental illness. very informative post. have a great weekend jen. cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - you have a great weekend too! Cheers.

      Delete
  2. I'm one of those five. Depression is what I live with. Therapy has helped enormously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad therapy has been helpful. Thanks for sharing. :)

      Delete
  3. Yes, let's keep the conversation going! And let's hope that this will finally lift the stigma associated with mental illnesses. People don't understand that the brain can get sick just like any other part of the body. We need to educate society. Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this tragedy is what finally gets people to understand. Thanks for your comment! :)

      Delete
  4. Sadly, I think there are too many that do not understand that the brain gets sick, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sad. Hopefully some of those people will learn from this tragedy.

      Delete
    2. I don't know. It is hard to say, we are sometimes such a weird little group of humans. I remember when Tom Cruise said Brook Shields did not really have depression after her baby was born.

      Delete

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