Latimer: Urging you to #GetLoud over mental health issues

Raise your voice to show support for those struggling with mental health issues.

May 2 to 8 is Mental Health Week and the Canadian Mental Health Association is challenging us all to #getloud.

What does this mean? It means raising our voices to show support for those struggling with mental health issues. It means helping to raise awareness and standing up for friends, family, co-workers and others who often feel alone.

Nearly one in five of us experience mental health issues yet there is still stigma associated with these conditions and their treatment.

Consider this—how would you react if you were diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety? How would you respond if your doctor suggested you take an antidepressant medication or visit a therapist? Would you feel differently than if your doctor recommended an antibiotic? A blood pressure medicine? Would you try to work it out for yourself before taking your doctor’s advice? Or would you be worried about the pharmacist seeing your prescription?

If you met a friend who asked what your doctor’s appointment was concerning or why you were taking medication, would you be as likely to acknowledge a mental illness as you would a heart condition or diabetes?

For many people the answer to this last question is no—and it’s an indication that significant stigma still exists when it comes to mental health.

If we hope to eliminate this prejudice in our society, we all need to start by examining our own minds to find where we might have hidden misconceptions about mental illness.

When we sort through our own feelings and get correct information, we can then speak up to help raise awareness and support for those around us.

A very tangible and tragic consequence of stigma is the one million suicides that take place around the world every year. It is estimated that 90 per cent of those result from undiagnosed or untreated mental illness.

Diagnosis and treatment can reduce suicides, duration and severity of illness and disability and can vastly improve quality of life for those experiencing these conditions.

So #getloud. Share your stories and show your support. The louder we are, the bigger difference we can make.

The Kelowna chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association wants you to join their campaign. Visit okgetloud.com and take part.

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Mount Eneas fire grows to 1,374 hectares

Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen issues evac alerts for properties in Area F.

UPDATED: Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire evacuation alert lifted

An evacuation alert remains in effect for those on Lakeshore Road

Mount Conkle fire near Summerland 90 per cent guarded

This fire has several good water sources and has good road access which have contributed to the success

Law Creek wildfire still out-of-control

A blaze in West Kelowna still has 129 properties on an evacuation alert

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Wildfires near Vernon extinguished

BX, Dee Lake and Irish Creek fires all out

What’s happening this weekend

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

Vernon’s Sparrow signs with Wichita

Vernon product headed to ECHL for pro hockey

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Matjicka pulls trick for Silver Stars

Capri Insurance Men’s 55+ Soccer League roundup

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Most Read