This is National Mental Health Week, and I’ve devoted several recent columns to the topic. Earlier this week, I wrote a column that examined the perspective of local police, who believe that in the majority of cases, mental illness is a health issue and not a policing matter.
And in my latest story, I profile a local woman who, despite a lifetime of hardship caused by schizo-affective disorder, has surmounted her mental illness.
Many people agree that we need to change the way we think about mental illness and lessen the stigma surrounding it. And a new website, called Not Myself Today, aims to mobilize Canadians to do just that.
The site invites people to pledge to do their part, by:
1) Paying more attention to my mental health and well-being
2) Supporting a loved one/friend/co-worker who is living with a mental health issue or illness
3) Challenging the negative stereotypes and attitudes that exist around mental illness
4) Contacting elected officials to help influence policy that will improve the mental health system
5) Volunteering time to support the mental health cause
6) Donating/fundraising for the mental health cause
It’s a fascinating website, filled with personal stories. I urge you to check it out.