I've spent the past few years raising awareness for better mental health support through organizations like SickNotWeak and Bell Let's Talk. I've shared my struggle with bipolar disorder and anxiety in the classrooms where I teach, in the offices where I work, in communities affected by youth suicide and on television with total strangers. I hope that by sharing my story, other people will be inspired to ask for help when they need it. However, I've realized that breaking down the stigma is not enough - we also need to fund mental health programs so that people are not stuck on waiting lists like I was. Mental illness does not care about timelines, and we can't wait any longer for life-saving resources. That's why I am raising money for One Brave Night this year.
For my challenge, I will be completing safeTALK training with my team at CAMH Engage. This training will give me the tools needed to better support people who are experiencing suicidal ideations. I am also volunteering my time at CAMH, where I will be teaching creative writing at the hospital. Having experienced psychiatric institutionalization myself, I know what a big difference good programming can make. I hope to make people's days a little brighter and help them discover new coping strategies.
Thanks so much for your time and donations. It's good to know that I am surrounded by people who care!