To the editor:
I am someone who didn’t get help for the longest time. Maybe it was lack of education, or maybe it was lack of resources. Now, here I am, 21 with a brand new bipolar diagnosis, trying to navigate my way through life. I am not a bad person. I have a huge heart and want to make a difference. People see bipolar as something scary, thanks to the stigma surrounding it. I’m just like you. I want an education, a job, a family, a life to call mine. It’s just harder for me. As a young woman struggling with bipolar, I feel like a minority. I’m scared I will be discriminated against in the work force. I have so much to offer, but the moment I say the word “bipolar” some people run away so fast.
I received the most care from a hospital room, one of the most expensive options for responding to mental health. It shouldn’t of got to that point. The new B.C. government has identified mental health and addictions as a top priority. Things need to change. I shouldn’t feel ashamed of who I am.
I encourage all British Columbians to call for a system of care that values mental health, addiction, and physical health equally. We can all make our voice heard by collectively joining the b4stage4 movement at www.b4stage4.ca.
Jillian Seronik, Kelowna