I have decided that 2019 will be a year of personal courage. I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, having difficult conversations and doing things that leave me just the right amount of scared. There’s no better example than CAMH One Brave Night, where I will be showcasing my hidden “talent” (dancing and lip-synching with my team).
Like every Canadian, my extended family and friends have been touched by anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, anorexia, alcoholism, drug addiction, dementia and suicide. I have witnessed the impact and the devastation left by mental illness. I have seen shame and stigma render some of those closest to me unable to open up and talk about it. And I have experienced the cascading impact of blame; heard the self-doubting questions of could have, should have, would have; and felt the weight of the guilt on my own shoulders.
I can’t help but wonder how many people’s stories could have been different if they had access to treatment and others were equipped to help and willing to look beyond their own prejudices and offer help. I can’t help but wonder how families, workplaces and communities would have been different, if all Canadians were treated with dignity and respect and able to reach their full potential.
The funds raised through One Brave Night will help to make this change possible. Together we will break down stigma, fund innovative research, and provide access to new and promising treatments for people living with mental illness. Please donate today and help me reach my fundraising goal.