*I originally posted this on January 28th for Bell's Let's Talk Day on my instagram (@awachtin). I received such positive feedback, that I thought I would share it on here as well!
In lieu of Bell's "Let’s Talk" day I have some words to share.
We need to change the face of mental illness. Even the word itself makes me cringe. Maybe mental wellness is a more appropriate term for where I am going with this.
Stress, anxiety, depression etc are some of the worst things an individual can experience. What's even worse is the stigma surrounding mental health. Experiencing these can be extremely isolating and leave one feeling helpless.
I'm in the business (or will be soon) of healing and helping people live long healthy and vibrant lives, and I strongly believe that antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds are not always the answer. These drugs can help mask symptoms but ultimately they do not treat the underlying problems that are leading to the imbalance. They don't work for everyone, and in some cases even make things worse.
I have family and friends who have been touched in the worst way possible by the negative effects of mental illness. It breaks my heart every time I hear of someone who has taken their own life when it could have in fact been prevented with the right resources.
To be alive is the ultimate gift we have all been given, and every single one of us deserves health and happiness in our lives.
So how do we strengthen our mental wellness?
First off, start by being kind to yourself. We are all our own worst critics.
Do more of what you love!! Whether it's hiking, or dancing, or reading, or running, or yoga just do more of it!
We are social creatures by nature and need human connection so spend quality time with those you love. They are your support network and the people you need most in hard times.
Lastly, if things get too hard seek help and encourage others to do the same. It doesn't make you weak. There are professionals out there whose job it is to listen and help you. Counsellors and naturopathic doctors are two I would recommend. Both excel in treating and preventing stress, anxiety and depression.
Please remember to be kind and smile. You never know what someone is battling inside.
Let's change the face of mental health for the better.