Mental Health

SO I THOUGHT I WANTED A JOB

I love to peruse job sites like the Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) Job Bank, Indeed, Career Beacon and Southwest Employment Centre. Not long ago, I stumbled upon a posting for a Mental Health Peer Support Coordinator. On a whim, I applied and almost fell over when I was contacted for an interview. The job was at the Yarmouth Hospital, about 120 km from home. That would mean driving three hours each day in good weather. And then there would…

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I HAVE SQUIRRELS…AND THEY’RE DRUNK

Let’s face it; mothers have a lot on their plate. They are juggling children, husbands, careers, bosses, grocery shopping, homes, children in all manner of lessons and sports, doctors’ appointments, parent-teacher relationships, school and sports’ fundraisers and much, much more. Everyone is trying to project the image that they have it all together, but does anyone truly have it all together? I remember my life as a wife with a loving, supportive husband, two well-behaved children and a teacher, an…

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MEN AND WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP NEED TO COME CLEAN

Have you heard that pneumonia is caused by going outside without a coat, hat, mitts and boots? Did you know that putting butter on a burn will draw the heat out of it and make it heal faster? Were you told you would have a strong spine if you ate the crusts on your bread? I could go on and on. It makes no difference if you do or don’t believe these admonitions even though they are not true and…

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CRAWL, WALK, RUN, FLY AS FAST AS YOU CAN

So, we went to church on Sunday. That’s nothing unusual because we go most Sundays. Believe me, I have sat through myriad church services in my 61 years, and they have elicited a variety of responses from me. There have been times, I have hung on to every word spoken because it seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear or it matched what I believe. Other times, I have doodled, whispered, and yawned convinced the service would never end.…

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WHEN WE KNOW BETTER, WE CAN DO BETTER

You and I are never too smart or too old to learn something new and did I ever learn something! I can’t wait to share it with you. Over the years, I have observed that I can go from 0 to 200 in a split second when something upsets me. This is nothing new. My whole life has been like this. I believe it is called catastrophic thinking. Below is a conversation  I had with a neighbour years ago. She…

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Hey Mom, I’m A Survivor

Mental illness knows no borders. It can and does touch anybody, regardless of educational, social or economic status. Recovery has nothing to do with pulling up one’s bootstraps. It is impossible to pull up your bootstraps when you feel like you are wearing cement boots. Mental illness is real, just as real as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer and heart disease. We don’t beat up on those people. Nor should we burden the mentally ill.

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LET’S STAND UP TO STIGMA

I went on to enjoy two more very rewarding, successful careers — first as a Child Development Worker where I worked with families of children born with special needs. What a wonderful fit! I could sit down in the home of a struggling and often discouraged parent and listen with great empathy. I could offer them help and hope. In a subsequent career as a Funeral Home Owner and Administrator, I could reach out to the grieving, wrap them in my arms, hold them as their body shook with sobs and let them know they were not alone. Eventually, I was able to put the loss of my teaching career behind me. It became a part of who I was, not who I am.

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THE REASON WOMEN WAIT 37 YEARS TO REPORT ABUSE

A courageous woman, similar in age to me, emailed her story to me following one of my mental health presentations. I wept as I read the words. I wanted to reach through my screen, scoop her in my arms, tell her I believed her, that she was safe, and let her repeat her story as many times as she needed. Life can be cruel as it was in this woman’s life. The behaviour of her family members is inexcusable. As…

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DO YOU LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND OR LISTEN TO REPLY?

To anyone out there who’s hurting — it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. —Barack Obama— The deaths by suicide of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have been front and centre of late. This has given some the courage to divulge information about family members who died by suicide. Others have spoken openly for the first time about dark periods in which they contemplated suicide. I have lived with depression and its evil twin sister, anxiety, for most of…

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A Broken Mind…

I am quite sure that those of you who know me, would agree that I have never poked my nose into your business. I don’t like conflict. I would walk on hot coals to “keep the peace.” Until I attain perfection, I will keep my opinions to myself unless asked. Heaven knows, I have enough problems of my own. I wouldn’t pretend to know how you should live your life.

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