Mental health days are vital to many professionals' long-term work performance and well-being. Many employees opt to stay home due to pronounced feelings of distress, burnout, anxiety, depression, etc. A common misconception of a mental health day is the admission of feeling overwhelmed, being unable to cope, using an excuse to stay home and do something fun, or portraying an act of corporate disloyalty. However, this is NOT the case by any means ...
Addictions are a heavy topic. We all have some opinion about it, know someone who struggles with it, or have heard about it on the news (“crack-smoking mayor of Toronto” anyone?). Addiction involves the compulsive use of substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, or behaviours such as gambling, shopping, or sex, which are done compulsively and interfere with daily life.
Riley Lynch, a fourth year physics student at the University of Guelph, a lover of the universe and nature, died by suicide on January 19 (Goffin, 2017). According to the recent article in The Star, this is the fourth suicide at the University of Guelph since September 2016 – the highest number seen in any academic year (Goffin, 2017).
Although counselling, anonymous peer support/crisis lines, therapy, and psychiatrists are available at the school to address students’ issues, the demand is higher than the supply. In addition, short-term issues such as breakups are focused on, as opposed to chronic or complex mental health issues that require ongoing and intensive care (Goffin, 2017). Students are at a vulnerable point in their life, due to many being away from home, often being the age when they are cut off from adolescent mental health services (Goffin, 2017).
On January 25th, 2017, Bell Let’s Talk Day marked the largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, focusing on fighting stigma, supporting mental health research, and improving access to care while ensuring psychological health and safety in the workplace. On this 6th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, Canadians responded in record numbers totaling 131,705,010 interactions across social media platforms (Bell Let’s Talk, n.d.). Bell donated an additional 5 cents for each long distance and mobile call, text, tweet, and Facebook share recorded, resulting in $6,585,250 raised towards mental health initiatives and groups in Canada e.g. Embrace Life Council, Strongest Families Institute, St. John Ambulance (Bell Let’s Talk, n.d.).
Inspired by mental illness and the workplace, Canadian illustrator Harrison Wheeler, a former vice principal and mental health advocate aims to create transformative artwork based on his lived experiences with bipolar disorder and addictions. From overcoming 10+ years in recovery, Wheeler attributes his creative spirit as a driving force for self-actualization, which led him to surpass the mental, physical, and spiritual adversities present in his life.
What does a semicolon have to do with mental health?
When it becomes a symbol for the resilience of people with mental health issues, a lot. Project Semicolon was founded in as an anti-stigma and mental health awareness movement. A semicolon is “used when an author could've ended a sentence but chose not to” (Project Semicolon, 2016). In this way, it represents the experiences of those with depression, addiction, self-harm, and suicide, and solidarity with their choice to continue to live (Project Semicolon, 2016).
It's the first week of May...this may mean few things depending on who you are. Maybe there's a bounce in your step at the early signs of spring, maybe you're feeling a little excitement and nervousness for an upcoming race you probably haven't trained enough for, or maybe you're looking forward to discussing mental health and wellness as part of 2016 Mental Health Week!
Happy Bell Let's Talk Day!
We hope you are taking time today to send many texts and tweets to raise awareness and funds for mental health initiatives as part of Bell Let's Talk Day Campaign!
For those who don't know, Bell is donating 5 cents to mental health initiatives all day today for every text, mobile and long distance call made to/from Bell, tweet using #BellLetsTalk and sharing of their facebook image...
When we spend much of our waking time in the workplace, this raises the possibility that the conditions you experience at work can influence your mental health and well-being. Existing knowledge of workplace design suggests that the physical work environment has a substantial impact on everything from happiness and mood, to productivity and focus.