Dear friends and family,
On April 6th, I’m stepping up – and staying up – to defeat mental illness by taking part in the CAMH One Brave Night for Mental HealthTM, a nation-wide challenge to inspire hope for Canadians living with mental illness.
I have decided to take the #OneBraveNight challenge for the second year in a row, because the cause is near and dear to my heart. While I’m generally a glass-half-full, happy-go-lucky girl, I occasionally want to go to sleep and wake up next week. I feel so much that it is hard for me at times to feel anything at all and I’m not sure what’s worse: intense feeling or the absence of it. What I know for sure is that to exist in a state that requires you to constantly be prepared to go to war is exhausting. And yet, I can’t achieve said sleep without the help of a sedative.
On my mission to master the carefully choreographed dance that is day-to-day life with a handful of mental illnesses, I’ve been fortunate to have access to great health care close to home. But when, at my very worst, I was faced with a 1+ year wait to see a psychiatrist in my area, CAMH was there for me. Their ground breaking telepsychiatry program offered me the care I urgently needed. $150 in donations can improve its reach, connecting patients as remotely as Nunavut with leading mental health professionals by way of video consolation. Access to this program offered me a more accurate diagnosis, medications that better treat my condition, and the opportunity to participate in a study to further understand how my body responds to the complex cocktail of medications prescribed to manage my moods.
What feels like the end is often the beginning. On March 5th, 2013, I put a label the things I’d been feeling for as long as I can remember. That was the start for me. Five years later, I want everyone to know that the things that go wrong for you have a lot of potential to become part of your gift to the world. That’s why I do this. It’s why I shared my experiences for Anxiety Free Community, why you’ll hear me #BellLetsTalk-ing every day of the year, and why I encourage you to donate generously to help me reach my fundraising goal. By making a donation to my One Brave Night, you have the opportunity to help CAMH improve access to care, conduct research to find better treatments, and build more spaces for healing.
You want love? Be love. You want light? Be light.
With love and light,