NHBPM – We Need To Bring Mental Health And Mental Illness Out From The Shadows

Welcome. This post is part of the WEGO Health National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) challenge for November, 2012.

Mental health is a subject that still lurks in the shadows. It is slowly creeping out into the light. Mental health and mental illness are still only whispered by many, if at all. But, some of those whispers are turning into shouts that demand everyone’s attention. We must accept that mental health is just as important as physical health. If you are living with mental illness, you need to know they you are not alone. If a friend or family member has a mental illness, it’s time to learn as much about the illness as you can.

Every day personal stories and blogs, celebrity interviews, tv specials and mental health web sites bring us more information and more understanding about mental health and mental illness. For today’s prompt about mental health, I have chosen three different ways to become informed and to show others that they are not alone.

First is a TED video featuring comedian Ruby Wax who asks “How come every other organ in your body can get sick and you get sympathy, except the brain?”.

Next is the web site for Canadian independent registered charity Partners for Mental Health.  According to their Who We Are page, their goal is to:

In partnership with others, we will empower and mobilize Canadians to take action that will:

  • Encourage people to pay more attention to their own mental health and well-being.
  • Positively change attitudes and behaviours towards those living with mental health problems or illnesses.
  • Help change policies to improve the mental health system.
  • Increase funding for programs, services and research.

Lastly, TVO, Ontario’s public educational media organization, did “an in-depth exploration of the state of mental health in our society” in 2012 called Mental Health Matters with documentaries, interviews and topics  such as:

  • The Origins of Our Mental Malaise
  • Mental Illness in the Family
  • Today’s Mental Illness and
  • The Language of Mental Health
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4 comments

  1. I agree that there is still a lot of stigmas surrounding mental health issues. Depression is real and affects you on every level.
    In my experience, there needs to be a new approach even among professional mental health providers. That I’m doing my therapy for bipolar 2 on my own speaks volumes about the mental health system here.
    Looking forward to watching the TED video.
    PS: I’m working backwards to where I last read/commented on your month long challenge. I haven’t been on the computer much lately.

    1. When I was growing up, I don’t think I heard the term “mental illness”. I heard the phrase “Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe” said as a way to explain someone’s behaviour. People went to the doctor for physical illnesses. But, they didn’t talk if they went because mental illnesses. A lot of that was out of fear because I think a lot of people started thinking along the lines of insane asylums. And to have a mental illness was such a negative thing and somehow reflected poorly on the family’s reputation. Gawd, such backwards thinking from not so long ago.

      Now, people are getting informed. But the fear is knowing that many people with mental illnesses are out on their own and not getting the help they need because of so many government cut backs.

  2. It’s sad that mental-health funding is the first to get cut on budgets! Without a healthy brain, you can’t have a healthy body! It’s not like people wake up one day and say “I want to have depression, etc.”. It’s not a choice. It happened by DNA or circumstances and it needs to be treated, just like those with heart attacks or strokes! Great post.

    1. Thanks. It is very sad that governments cut the funding for some of the most vulnerable in society. I notice it more because I live downtown and see more of it. I know more people on social assistance and it’s an eye-opener to see the number of people on welfare and disability that are living with mental illness. People who don’t understand think taking a pill each day or talking to someone will magically make you better. Or, there’s also the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” thinking that still happens. If that were only the case.

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