Mental health awareness month

Chelsea Girard
By Chelsea Girard May 8, 2017 17:30

Mental health awareness month

The stigma surrounding mental health is starting to decrease as individuals around the world raise awareness during the month of May.

Statistics Canada estimates that 10-20 per cent of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.

Beth Allen is a 21-year-old mental health advocate from Nottingham, England. She said she is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by vlogging her anxiety and showing the world mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

“I decided to help spread awareness that it is okay to have mental illness,” said Allen. “Just because you haven’t been through the experience of struggling with your own mental health doesn’t mean you can’t be compassionate and loving.”

In May, those who suffer with mental health share their voice because it raises awareness, but it also gives people an opportunity to speak out that may not have had the chance or courage to before.

Alura Dupuis, 18, from Nova Scotia, said she is celebrating by soaking up the sun, spending time with loved ones and taking it easy.

“People struggle daily with mental illness, and it deserves to have a voice,” said Durpuis. “I plan on following some of the hashtags and maybe donating to some of the organizations.”

Ross Clarke, a 28-year-old from the United Kingdom, said it is important to share stories.

“I started being an advocate to try to help others…and also to try and learn from others about their experiences,” said Clarke. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help as there are always people willing to help.”

Connie Martin is the Executive Director for Maryvale, a mental health treatment centre located in Windsor, ON. Martin said Mayvale has a group of leadership students who carry out various activities throughout the school year that promote mental health and will be wearing ribbons during this week to spread awareness.

You can join the conversation by following Twitter feeds and regular chats on Twitter. Some hashtags include: #MHChatHour; #PosiMH and #LetsTalkMH. You can also get involved by volunteering at your local mental health association.

Chelsea Girard
By Chelsea Girard May 8, 2017 17:30

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