It has been said by those close to me (and they know who they are) that I'm not just someone who survives, but thrives. They say this because I have endured a lot through my life, but have rolled with the punches, and made the best of my situation to the best of my ability. However, there is a battle I have suffered for years, and I still fight over every single day. That battle is the one with mental illness.
I have run the gambit in the mental health field during my over four decades of existence: anxiety issues, depression, psychosis. My mind has experienced everything from the dizzying highs to the depths of despairs and everything in between. Heck, there have even been moments in my past where... well, let's just say had I carried through with my thoughts, I wouldn't be writing this post.
The fact of the matter is, mental illness is something many people endure. According to the Canadian Institute of Health Research, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life. While some people will argue this borders on an epidemic, and perhaps it is; however, there is help out there. I have been fortunate enough to receive psychiatric counselling over the years, and my illness is controlled with the assistance of medication, but there are others who haven't been able to reach out and receive the health they require.
Today -- Tuesday, January 28th -- is Bell Let's Talk Day in Canada. It is a fundraising and awareness initiative to shed light on those who continue to battle with mental illness, myself being one of them. You can participate by tweeting with the hashtag: #BellLetsTalk or sharing the following Bell Let's Talk image on Facebook.
I am proud to say that I am a mental health survivor. Let's help others become survivors, too.