Mental health – two words that represent a vast range of extraordinary challenges affecting millions of Canadians and their loved ones. More than 15,000 British Columbians have taken their own lives in the past 30 years. Chances are, you’ve known one of them.
There are people in our community right now who are struggling and feel very, very alone… and in some cases, it’s possible their loved ones have no understanding at all of the painful depth of these problems. Mental health doesn’t have a particular face or look. That person on the street with a huge smile on their face might be in the throes of the most terrible depression imaginable. When it comes to mental health, all is not necessarily what it appears to be.
There are many barriers that prevent people from getting the help they need. One of them is stigma. There are people we know and care about right now who aren’t getting the support they need at home, at school and at work because of other people’s misconceptions about what mental health looks like, and what it means for those affected by it.
Let’s take a few steps to change that, shall we? Here’s how you can help.
You are likely familiar with the #BellLetsTalk campaign, and how that project has done a great job of encouraging a very important national conversation about mental health. We would like to take advantage of that momentum and connect with our members, our followers, and all Whitecaps fans alike. Here’s what we propose: Tell us how mental health issues and / or suicide have impacted you or someone you care about. It would also be helpful to hear some stories of recovery, healing and hope.
On January 25 we will share your submissions via the @Southsiders Twitter account with the intention of raising awareness, reducing stigma, and letting our many followers know that if they are struggling, they are not alone. This process is intended to be as confidential as you want it to be. You are under no obligation to provide personal info.
All we ask is that you share your truth and speak from the heart. And you can do that here: https://goo.gl/Uxr4Ee
We will post that link a few times each day until Jan 25. We hope to hear from you. Your stories can help people.
If you’re having a hard time right now, know that there are people ready to hear you out at the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (@CrisisCentreBC). If you need help call them at 604-872-3311 or 1-800-SUICIDE. Help is available 24/7.
We encourage you all to consider making a donation to @CrisisCentreBC. They do amazing work when it is needed the most. If you have a few dollars to spare, you can tweet a donation pledge to @Southsiders with hashtag #Talk4Erin .
We’ll collect your donations at our Feb 18 launch party @BelmontBar and other future @Southsiders gatherings.
We’ll tell you about Erin soon. Her family misses her dearly. There’s far too many families who know that loss. Once again, that link to share your stories is: https://goo.gl/Uxr4Ee
Thanks for your support. With love and respect to you all from your friendly neighbourhood Southsiders.