The Gallery

There is nothing more powerful than expressing the truth, and speaking your truth; being honest with yourself, and the world around you. I Know this, and hopefully you do to. Yet, although I know this, it has taken a long duration of time to speak my truth, and about my experience with living with a mental illness. It has taken 3 years for me to accept my diagnosis, and to not be afraid to speak about bipolar disorder. The way I see it, it does not define me, nor anyone else who lives with the diagnosis- yet it is something that I live with, and something that I manage and take care of. It doesn't make me any less than any other person. I mean, really, I am that much stronger of a person for living with a mental illness, and in the grand scheme of things, it has taught me many life lessons. I have come to the realization that there is nothing normal about life, normal is a societal definition, and once you start venturing out, you really see that every single person on this planet is different from the next- which is amazing on its own. If you have a mental illness, or struggle with mental health issues, consider yourself a warrior- a person of true character and strength. Don't settle for normal, and continue to be brave.
the best thing to do when you feel depressed or stressed is destract your self by playing video games or reading books or watch youtube even, stay strong
I've been adjusting meds for one week now and I still hear strange anxious voices. I hope people who hear voices will find more solutions to manage their mental illness.
On campus at my school has plenty of saftey precations built in to it to have everyone feeling safe. I never have to worry to much about my saftey out here. Definetly brings me inner comfort.
I was lucky enough to go to mexico this winter break. This is a photo I took from the plane. I loved my time in mexico.... but the plane ride had me on edge!
Being inside for to long has got me searching for an emergency exit! I just need to get outside an get some fresh air! I get so anxious being couped up all day!
Missing the summer. January is always such a tough month for me. I love to think back to long hot summers to get me thru..
Winter here and so is the snow. It is a battle to get outside sometimes, but it is always worth it. Something about nature always heals me!
My take on mental health is that it is a condition that effects us all. You see I suffer with schizophrenia most of my adult life. My condition was exasberated by the use of marijuana and alcohol. I continue to struggle with alcohol use, finding a fine line between use and abuse. In my darkest moments I felt like I was self destructing, and this not only effected myself but it effected those that care for me. My friends and family are getting more aquainted to signs that I am getting into that headspace. I live in Victoria and I have to say the mental health support is in my opinion the best in Canada. Along with my friends and family, I have found places to release or unload my issues into space. And it feels a subtle weight has been lifted and I can then carry on with my life and contribute to society at large. I encourage anyone who has emotional distress(whatever it may be) to reach out t........o a phone line, chat room, whatever venue one feels comfortable, to download all their worst thoughts, get it out before it gets the best of you! I want to thank Kevin Bieksa for standing up in support of those effected by mental health. He is a good teammate and friend to those that are aware. Go Canucks Go! --Geoff
When my life is intense or I am feeling stressed out, it's unimaginable. I honestly cannot describe it one go; by one adjective. Imagine having the weight of the world on your shoulders and you can't do anything but try to dissociate or numb the emotions away because it's just easier not to deal with them; especially if you don't even know what you are feeling! When life is intense for me I feel all these different emotions but I can't even distinguish all of them; at the most i'll be able to tell 1-4 different emotions. There are times where my thoughts are taken control of, not by me, but by something else and they tell me and make me feel like I have no one and that everyone around me sees me as filth and hates me. And the worst thing is, no one sees this because I keep it in my head because I am too scared of telling anyone what is happening at the thought of rejection or even worse someone validating those bad thoughts. That's when the anxiety kicks in, the intrusive thoughts I face daily come with paranoia and anxiety that is so bad, it interferes with my sleep cycle. Telling anyone my fears and thoughts, I find is useless and a waste of time, unless it's with someone who goes through the same thing as I do;I am very self conscious of my thoughts and feelings, the thought of someone judging me on them terrifies me. Then there's the dissociation, sometimes I am scared about the amount of time I dissociate for and how random it is. Sometimes it's useful, but at other times it really interferes with my ability to live life and feel it 100%. Sometimes I wish I could get to the bottom of everything so my life could be kicked into high gear and I could give my life 100%, but mental illness usually "comes out" around the teen to young adult years and that's when my life officially started: a little time before my graduating year I started to notice these demons coming out. I don't know if I should call them demons, they are so familiar to me, I'd call them family instead. Some days I don't think I deserve to feel better/have a good day, this is me on a good day. But when i'm having a bad day, I just want to be "normal" and be mental illness free; because I realize how messed up I am and become scared. I want to do many great things in my life for people who suffer and live with mental illness. It is all i've ever seen in my life and I really wanna give back or do something for anyone who faces mental illness.
Found this at UFV too!
Saw this at my school- UFV. Thought it belonged here!
Making my own pieces for sharing online
Here are some lights I hung outside my house for October 10th light up the world purple day!
October 10th is light up the world purple day for world mental health! Here are some pictures I took of lights I hung at my workplace! I challenge you to hang some lights or wear purple on October 10th! http://lightuppurple2014.weebly.com/
October 10th is light up the world purple day for world mental health! Here are some pictures I took of lights I hung at my workplace! I challenge you to hang some lights or wear purple on October 10th! http://lightuppurple2014.weebly.com/
It makes me anxious to post anything on social media... but it is nice that I can post anonomously on this site. I wanted to share this flower with you all. I see other people have posted their gardens too!
Summer flowers :)
Time to put my summer toys away :(. I always find it tough to deal with the winter weather in BC
Beauty inspires :)
Fall weather in my garden brings me peace
I had the oppourtunity to travel the world this past summer. To be able to see how mental health is treated in other cultures was super interesting. Keeping an open mind is a very valued personality trait in the wide world
Music is my muse! Keeps me healthy and happy :)
I joined the youth advisory team with speak up! This is an awesome group of people who want to make a difference. You should get involved too! :)
The teachers strike is making me remember how much my teachers and routine helped me stay sane! I never thought I would say it but I miss school!
i read a good book XD. Lotsa good ideas in thsi one
saw this picture of the deer on the page and thought I shuld share my pic of a bear. Natutre helps me feel right too!
Connecting to nature is the best way for me to find happyness. I feel like I found my place in the wild this summer :)
I realised I had anxiety shortly after the start of 2014 and it's been so hard. This has been, arguably, the worst year of my life. I am constantly on edge and worried, and I panic during the simplest of things such as riding the bus or train, or ordering at a fast food place. I've talked to my mum, but there's pretty much nothing she can do to help me. I've tried speaking to my friends, but I'm constantly hearing 'I've never seen you have a panic attack' or 'stop overreacting' and 'you're being such a drama queen, for goodness sake, get over yourself.' and occasionally I tell myself these things because I don't know anyone (except a youtuber named Zoella) who has the same problems as me. I'm so tired all the time from constantly worrying and it's affecting the relationships I have with family and friends (especially family.) I feel so horrible and stressed and upset and I'm keeping it all inside that know one really knows how hard it is. I don't know what to do.
This is a response to the person who posted about having anxiety and not knowing what to do about it. I wanted to tell you that things DO get better and that there are things you can do. Look at mindcheck.ca and take a look in the anxiety section. They have links to resources. If that does not help you can contact your local mental health care providor and they can help you find support. It prolly wont be easy, there is no denying that part of it. But please know that we all got thru this together!
we are all in this together. We all struggle at times! It is time for the world to accept it!
Video on real connection- if we focus on giving we would all be much better off :)
I truly started a conversation with a friend. Instead of asking how he was and listening to the usual "i am ok" response, I did my best to have a deeper conversation. This is the answer to our struggle with mental health. If we open up and have real conversations that would make the world a much better place!
I watched this squirell for a while from inside my car.... He was so nervous the whole time, always lookin for things that might attack it. Nothing ever did of course, but it reminded me that everyone gets a little nervous sometimes and it is ok to be nervous!
Nice days at school make it easier to go to school. Crazy how much the weather affects me!
I have now been presenting with Speak Up in schools for several months and in that time my life has drastically improved. I suffer from daily anxiety which can sometimes be extremely debilitating. When I walk into a classroom I am put in a lot of uncomfortable situations and scenarios that really test my anxiety. However, with the encouragement and compassion of Linda and Manny, I am able to forget those anxieties and present to thousands of kids about how I made it out of the dark hole that I was once in. Great progress is happening and I can see it in myself every day. I look forward to continuing to work with Speak Up and make further steps in defeating the anxiety that I struggle with. Thank you.
Summer is just around the corner.... I find that I am alot happeir during the summer- must be all that sun :)
Linda told me to come here and submit. The presentation in my classroom was cool. Happy you came
One of your people presented in my class and talked about stress and stuff....never really thoguth stress was a mental health thing until now
I have a furry companion to keep me company. The connection between living beings is important! Much more important than the connection between me and my phone or electronics haha :)
Time is precious! I choose to spend my time happy :)
My name is Ashleigh and I am a co presenter for Speak Up! I just got home from another awesome day of presentations with Linda and Manny. It is always the highlight of my week to present with these two amazing people. It is a dream come true for me to have the opportunity to speak to kids about mental health so that they don't have to go through what I went through. Just know that there IS hope and a beautiful world out there!
Everyone else was sharing their coping strategies so I decided to as well! I like to connect with nature and animals by trail riding :)
Find a nature oasis and bathe in it! You can keep your clothes on while you bathe :)
Spring is here! I am going to go get lost outside and get in touch with nature :)
I'm a really awesome guitarist and I finally know it. Check out my stuff on youtube!
Working out helps me stay on top of things :)
We always go out to the coastline for the summers for camping trips. During the depths of the winter it is always nice to reflect on those summer memories!
I go for a run to cope. Exercising and wearing my workout gear always makes me feel great :)
Getting in touch with my roots and reconnecting with my history is always calming for me. Sometimes the world moves so fast that it is soothing to go back to a simpler time, even if just for a minute!
Candles and hot chocolate get me thru the winter :)
Homemade sushi! Saw someone else post their food on here so i though i could share mine..... mking food like this with my fam helps me remind myself what is truly important
The ability of plants to grow out of the concrete is inspiring.... Overcoming all obstacles!
Even on the darkest, most gloomy days there is always a ray of sunshine!(
Music centers me!
Relaxation and me time is key :)
Getting into a good book is the best for me to center myself :)
Music is my cure-all :)
Finding ways to stay strong in times of adversity is key for me!
We are all pebbles that make up the same big beach :)
Such an amazing idea I found!
I write a lot of poetry. I have since I was young, well, younger. And I never understood why it was always so sad, or angry. And then I realized, it was my way of venting, without really acknowledging where it was coming from. It was the deep stuff. The stuff that was once so little. But as they say, dust collects over time. This poem is now featured in our blogs section!
Snow! It reminds me of the changing seasons and how the world is constantly changing and moving forward!
Eating healthy and taking care of myself physically has translated into much better physical health. It is important to remember how connected the two are.
I am 29 years old so I will keep this short since I don't fall in the age bracket. I was diagnosed with depression then re diagnosed as bi-polar almost 7 years ago. The past couple years I have finally reduced excessive medication and lead a somewhat normal life. I currently live in Nanaimo and would like to learn about other people living with bi-polar to share struggles and accomplishments with this disorder.
Happy New Years!
My resolution is too spend more time meditating and being internally conscious!
My Resolution is simple..... Dont allow myself to drown in my work!
I want to get in shape this year. That is my resolution. :)
I want to get in touch with my community.... That is my resolution!
My resolution is to reach out and help someone who needs it every chance I get!
Had the honor of watching the Canucks game last night from the Sedin Corner. This was painted on the wall. Great reminder.
Hockey talks Mental Health
Hi there, I just wanted to share a bit of my story from the passed year struggling with a mental health condition. I am now 28 year old female and was diagnosed last year with anxiety and panic disorder with OCD (obsessive thoughts) I had always struggled with anxiety growing up, but not even as close as this last time. I wasn't one to ask for help, but seeing as I did fear for my own life I decided to see a psychologist. I can say that she saved my sanity and my life. I am not looking for sympathy by any means all I want to say is that you CAN overcome something that is so debilitating. I couldn't leave my house at one point let alone take a shower without panicking. This is something that is near and dear to my heart and I am determined to help others suffering just as I was. I must admit it won't be easy, it will be the hardest thing you've ever done, but please know it will be worth it. I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin. So keep fighting the battle everyday and don't give up hope :) -Tina
I am 23 years old.. In the past I have suffered from depression and many times have I thought of taking my own life. It wasn't easy getting through those harsh times and feeling like I don't deserve the meaning of life. I felt like I had no friends and as day by day went, it felt like it was never going to end. My parents were always there for me and they too were feeling hurt with how ill I was. They were always there for me no matter what. Hearing what rick had to go through made me go back in time and think about how it was for me going through all the pain. I know it's hard, but a rough time will always have a light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up, always have hope, and remember that there are people who always care for you.
I am a 17 year old female, and this is my story. My life has always been bad, I never thought it would get any better, some days even now I don't think it will get better. From since I can remember my dad beat me with his belt. My mother would pin me to the ground and yell at me to make sure I understood, not to tell anyone what was happening at home. I never did, until I was in grade 5. My dad hit me so hard with his belt it made my back bleed and I ran away from home. As being in grade 5 I had no idea where to go. I ended up at my neighbors house, I begged her don't tell anyone, because she saw the blood. She promised. My mother came to pick me up and pretended it was just a normal play date. I was never allowed to play outside or have friends. When I came home they yelled at me asking did I say anything. That if i did that I would ruin the family it would be my fault. It turns out my neighbor called the police and the police came to my house later that night and took me away into foster care for me first time. As a reflection now, I can not handle when people get angry with me, yell at me, blame me -especially if its not my fault, and I constantly think what if everyone hates me like my parents? If my parents don't like me who will? I was in foster care for a short time, my parents claimed that I was lying and got me back. The abuse stopped for a little, but came back again shortly after. My parents soon after split up. It felt like it was my fault, that I was such a bad kid that they couldn't stand to be around me anymore, that they weren't fighting to have me, but fighting not to have me. I then started to get bullied more in school. I would beg and beg my mom to let me stay home, I didn't want to be around the other kids, they called me greaser, and fat. She wouldn't let me, she said that would be too much one on one time for her. I didn't understand why it seemed like everyone hated me. No one wanted to be my friend, it felt like i was the black plague and people were trying so hard to avoid. My dad met his new wife. She hates me, with a passion. She is an alcoholic and has blamed all of her problems on me. It took me 4 years to realize that it wasn't my fault that she was an alcoholic or even hers for that matter. Sometimes its still hard to see her with a beer, I'm always afraid she will lash out on me. She tried to pin my dad against me constantly. She wouldn't let me see my little sister claiming that I was dangerous and shouldn't be around children when her herself had a bunch of kids and never had custody of them. Every name she called me I took so deep to heart, everyone kept telling me "its the booze" "She just jealous" "Don't worry" "just brush it off" when I tried to vent to my dad he just laughed and said don't take it so personally. She called me everyone name in the book, how was i not supposed to take it heart. Soon she wouldn't let my family come over. I couldn't see my aunt, uncle, cousins, Nana because she didn't like them. I felt so isolated. No one understood. When I got taken away the 2 time, it was because of her. She had drunk her self into a drunk tank so many times they took us all away. When in foster care the bullies got worse as they do when you move into high school. People started throwing food and books at me. I couldn't handle going to school anymore, I got so depressed about everything in my life I slept 27 hours, physically could not get myself out of bed. My dad yelled at me for missing school. All I did was cry into my pillow and fall asleep. I didn't eat for 4 days couldn't pull myself to move or get up. My step brother, confided in me, saying he knew his mom was being harsh on me. That it wasn't fair and that he'll talk to her if I eat. That day I ate 1 orange. I became anorexic i thought i was fat because everyone in my life had told me I was. My life was just getting worse and worse. I didn't have any supports. It felt that everyone was staring at me all the time, watching my every move. Waiting for me to fail so they could criticize. I finally moved out on my own at the age of 16. With the help of the ministry, youth workers, social workers, and my school counselor. I am on independent living, I am thriving in school, I have an amazing boyfriend, amazing workers and counselors. I never thought I could be good at anything, this last year has been such a change for me, sometimes I cant even believe it. Im a straight A student, got accepted to UFV, I have friends that support me. To this day I still suffer from severe anxiety and mild depression though I am dealing with it better then I can believe. I attended the youth conference today, and got encouraged to share my story, in hopes that someone out here will read this, someone will care, someone will notice that they are not alone. That not everyone is against them, that someone is always willing to listen, you need the courage and the strength to open up to someone and when you find the courage and strength in yourself, that is when your life will begin to truly change. This is my story and I hope that it will inspire someone to save their own life. That we are not alone.
I fall out of the age category, but I felt a burning need to post the following: I wish this site existed when I was growing up. I cannot express enough my gratitude and deepest appreciation for what this organization represents. I will try my hardest to succinctly summarize my own mental health experience. My mother was schizophrenic and my father bipolar. They both showed symptoms when they were young; late teens, early twenties. They were 2 of the sweetest ppl on earth, super-smart & multi-talented. But sadly, their diagnoses pretty much smothered any chance of sharing what they had to offer to the world, never living to their full potentials and always spiralling into the abyss that is mental illness. I myself was diagnosed with clinical depression and high anxiety almost 3 yrs ago. Please, please check yourself into emergency or tell your GP all about your troubling thoughts & feelings for this will save your precious lives. I was bullied relentlessly and ruthlessly all throughout my schooling. It started the day I skipped Kindergarten and followed me right into University. This of course created intense feelings of self-loathing and extreme loneliness within me. Even a couple of my teachers joined in on the 'fun' of humiliating Agnes. Anyways, I ultimately became my mother's sole caregiver while she was battling her demons. Eventually, she stopped taking her meds and was in total denial. She believed her paranoia was normal. Gradually, I developed a form of Stockholm syndrome, where I adopted her belief system just to survive. I dropped out of University and immersed myself fully in our isolationism from humanity. We cut ourselves off from family, from friends and ultimately society. Please, young ppl, call out for help because there will always be someone who WILL answer! When my mother died nearly 3 yrs ago, I had my psychotic 'break'. Admitting myself to the hospital was the best decision I've ever made in my life. And you encounter some of the greatest, most caring and precious ppl to ever walk this earth. They are my best friends, my anchor in the port of life. And, I have recently reconnected with my family on FB. My uncle is almost the spitting image of Dad, who died nearly 11 years ago. In just the past few months, I have acquired 2 paying jobs, 2 volunteering positions, I sing in a choir, act in a drama grp and am leading a grp fighting cutbacks to HandyDart. I also beat cancer almost 11 yrs ago. And I plan to return to school to eventually get my Ph.D. Ultimately, we are all fighters, warriors, survivors but for a large number, the pain & hell-fire forces some of us to succumb. Please, value your youth, your cherished friends and family who never, ever turned around and walked away. In the end, we as humans carry one form of an illness or another. We all have our struggles, our own crosses to bear. I'm cheering you beautiful ppl on, the world indeed needs to hear your voices. God Bless!
I used to hate everyone and everything and I judged you until I used every insult possible. In the end I realised it was only lies I told myself in hopes of convincing myself I was okay. Its not some type of excuse to ruin peoples day or surround yourself in negative thoughts. Its closure- its realization that there are reasons beyond your control for how others treat you. But more importantly it taught me that the more you believe being hateful makes you better than someone, the uglier you become- first inside, and then outside as well. Instead of laugh lines and shining eyes, you will be cursed with worry wrinkles and loss of hair, bone loss and stress pain. Be a good person not just for others, but for your self too.
I am 23 years old.. In the past I have suffered from depression and many times have I thought of taking my own life. It wasn't easy getting through those harsh times and feeling like I don't deserve the meaning of life. I felt like I had no friends and as day by day went, it felt like it was never going to end. My parents were always there for me and they too were feeling hurt with how ill I was. They were always there for me no matter what. Hearing what rick had to go through made me go back in time and think about how it was for me going through all the pain. I know it's hard, but a rough time will always have a light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up, always have hope, and remember that there are people who always care for you.
Eating healthy and taking care of myself physically has translated into much better physical health. It is important to remember how connected the two are.
Snow! It reminds me of the changing seasons and how the world is constantly changing and moving forward!
Snow in Vancouver is something to be celebrated! Anything but rain :)
Winter is here! But so is xmas and time with our loved ones....also eggnog. Overall a great time to mentally recoup :)
Enjoy the holidays!!!
Holidays stress me out because of all the things I have to do. I always have to remind myself that it is supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy family and friends
All I can do :)
Holidays are for happiness, no stress :)
Listen to music..... Nice soothing uplifting music helps me everyday!
I look forward to the time I can spend with family and friends. Those are the times that really matter :)
Here is my Rabbit. He is always stressed and worried without any real reason! I feed him and take him out for runs, but he still worries. Sometimes I feel the same way. I worry for no reason at all. It is important for me to remember that sometimes stress is just stress and nothing more
And I am a person who suffers from depression. I was diagnosed with depression just recently, but I've lived with it for nearly all my life. I have Double Depression: extended periods of dysthymia—a chronic depressed mood that can last for years—with occasional slips into Major Depression. It is complicated to treat. Treating the major depression with anti-depressants is not effective because of the dysthymia. So why am I revealing this? It is because depression is something that the people who suffer from it rarely talk about. We are afraid of the stigma attached to it. People think that all we need to do is take a pill to feel better. I cannot begin to count the times someone has said that depression can't be so bad that you would want to kill yourself. Let me tell you--it is that bad. It is so bad that you would rather sit in a darkened room alone than be with the people you love. It is so bad that you hate the thought of waking up. It is so bad that killing yourself becomes a viable option. The word "depression" is a terrible one. It implies that what we are feeling is sadness. We are told that we should take "happy pills" to make us feel better. I do not feel sad when I am depressed. I feel beyond empty. I am burdened with an emptiness that sucks all my energy and leaves me with less than nothing. I have to drag myself out of bed. I have to drag myself to work. I have to drag myself to even eat. My body is in constant pain because of it. I do not feel that I have no hope. It is worse than that. There is less than no hope. There is just a feeling of utter despair and the sense that I am completely and utterly alone. In reality, I have more love around me than most. I have incredible relationships with people who not only care about me, they also give me their full love and support. I have friends who have have sat with me through my darkest moments. I consciously know that I am not alone. I am completely aware that I am loved. But the depression doesn't let me acknowledge that. The emptiness drowns all that care, concern and love. My mind tells me that I am not alone and that I am loved; my brain drops me into the abyss. What is worse is the fact that there is nothing anyone can say to make it feel better. Telling me you love me won't help. Letting me know that things will get better will not resonate. Saying that I am only hurting everyone else if I kill myself will not change my mind. All I can do hold on for one more day. I have had to change how I deal with my depression. I am no longer going to suffer alone and in silence. I have reached out and sought help. I have changed how I deal with my deep depressions and am working on the minor ones. And I am reaching out to the people who love and care for me and whom I love and care about. I have lost some because they could not understand it, but that's okay. The relationships I have now are lasting. I know who I can count on when I need help. So why write this? Why expose my illness (and it is an illness)? It's because I have met so many other people in the same boat. People whom I'd never would have thought had depression have told me their stories. And I realize that depression is much more common than anyone realizes. So here it is. My two-cents. To the people who love and care for us, keep reminding us that you are there. Be patient with us and forgive us when we push the world away. Encourage us to get help. Assure us that you will not think differently about us if we go on drugs, go for therapy, or have to be hospitalized to keep us from harming ourselves or others. Don’t ask us to live for your sake. Get us to live for our own sakes. Remind us that you are there, that you care, and that you support us. To all those who, like me, have to deal with depression, I will say this. We walk in darkness with only a small candle lighting our way. But as we met more and more who suffer from depression, the light gets brighter and brighter. The World Health Organization estimates that over 121 million people suffer from depression. That's a lot of candles. And together we will find our way out of the darkness because all the little candles will burn brighter than the sun. I wish I could tell you that there will come a time that you will never suffer from a deep depression ever again. I can’t. I thought I had conquered it. I hadn’t suffered a deep episode for almost fifteen years, but a perfect storm of events dropped me into one. But I survived. This time I did not isolate myself. This time I sought help. This time I accepted the love and support of those who love and care about me. This time I had the strength to reach out and ask for help. Someone once asked me if I had any regrets. I regret having depression. I regret that my brain doesn’t always function the way it’s supposed to. I regret the debilitating emptiness and sense of hopelessness it brings. I regret the sadness, worry and stress that my depression puts on the people whom I love and cherish. I regret all of these things. But I do not regret that my depression has forced me to think about who I am and how I deal with the world. I do not regret that it has let me know that I am loved. I do not regret that it has made me rethink how I want to live in this world. I do not regret that I have found the strength to realize that I cannot deal with depression by myself. And I do not regret that it has made me want to revel in happiness, joy and contentment. To my fellow sufferers, do not try and solve this alone. Don't let pride, ego or any other reason stop you from seeking help. It's not weakness. It took every bit of strength for me to admit that I needed help from someone else, and to go out and seek it. And I am glad that I did. Do not be afraid of being abandoned. In the end, you will know who truly loves you and who truly cares about you. You will lose people you thought were close to you. But that is okay. You will discover who is truly there for you, who you can rely on, and who truly cares about you. And if you are alone and feel there is no one in the world who cares, think of me. I understand your pain and your suffering. I know how empty you feel. My heart and spirit is with you because I care. I hope that you will find both strength and happiness. Until then, I walk with you in the darkness with a lit candle as we both find our way out with the light of 121 million candles.
The blog topic is good. i feel like i stress about quizes all the time and never know what to do about it. I might try to talk to my teacher this week. thanks!
Response to Blog on Midterm stress: I find that studying in advance helps, but I also find that it is best for me to distract myself from the exam on the day of the exam. This way my brain gets a break and I feel better rested for the exam!
Its that magical time of year where it doesn't stop raining :) Embrace it!
I have this picture in my room for inspiration :) Thank you for Speaking UP!!!
The First step is the hardest! You can get past whatever you are struggling thru :). I struggled with depression for 3 years and I finally feel like I am getting better. LIFE DOES GET BETTER :)
I am 16 years old my name is Ashley and a longtime fan of the Vancouver Canucks. I have depression and life isn't easy because most of the people I know have left because of it but mind check has helped because I realize I'm not alone and I know that I have someone to talk to depression isn't something easy to deal with and it's hard for people to understand if someone they love has it and I am grateful for Kevin Bieksa, Rick Rypien, and everyone at mind check for helping me get through this"
High school is more stressful than ever. Our parents and teachers tell us that if you want to be successful, want to pursue a university degree, you need to get high grades, crazy high grades and on top of that have lots of volunteer hours, be active in sports and in your community. This stress can be too much for many of us. Few know how to get help or where... Everyone seems to be pushing us to perform. Someone I know could not take this pressure eventhough he is a very smart kid. I want him to get help but I did not know where to point him to until I came across Speak Up. So I contacted a Speak Up representative and asked if she would come to my school and speak to my class. I also had this idea to introduce Speak Up by handing wristbands with the Speakup website embossed on it. Surely this will lead those students who needs help to be able to seek help in a safe and private way. A sponsor heard of my idea and quickly volunteered to pay for the wristbands. All this paid off when I saw my friend wearing the wristband. A small effort on my part but hopefully others are helped.
A support network of friends and family that are actually there for me when I need them, and enough time in my schedule to take regular "me-time" - especially when I'm having a bad week/day!
The world is full of natural beauty! We just have to reconnect with it!
Something I have thought for a long time and then I saw on this site. Is mental health really that scary? Why don't people want to talk about it?
if we could all remember this the world would be a great place to live in!
Every brick wall has cracks has cracks if you look close enough. It is possible to have weaknesses and still be strong, we need to remember that!
Quality pumkin carving time with my family :)
A pic that reminds me to keep strong!
I am a child a heart... Nothing is more relaxing than hanging outside at a park! I might be 20 but I am 10 at heart :)
Halloween awareness video! Check it out at: http://instagram.com/p/gBkwgxJwte/
Thinking about all the things I have, or could one day have, going for me. This can become hard to do at times, but for me when I battled an ED, it was looking at other measures of success for me: whether that be my relationships with people, or my academic goals. Dreaming helps, it sure does.
Halloween is just around the corner, it is time to show the world that caring about mental health is nothing to be scared of!
Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year! Any chance I get to celebrate with my friends and family is a good time. Check this Halloween pic out!
life can be challenging like a long set of stairs..... overcoming obstacles is one of the best feelings i have ever felt and i am so glad there is a site out there for me to talk about this
i loved WE day... I got to meet Hedley!
Your post about We Day is right! Youth of the world need to take action!
We day was awesome!
we day was awesome! Inspired me to make change happen! Let's erase stigma!
Sometimes I feel like cracks in the pavement, like I will break at any moment. Family and friendship is what holds me together!
Sometimes little fears are enough to cause stress. I am afraid of most dogs, sometimes it seems ridiculous, but it reminds me that everyone has their own struggles!
Though life can feel like a windstorm, keep your roots solidly in the ground!
Candles on a cold winter day keep my spirits high!
Nothing better than a crisp fall morning!
There is no better way to escape the everyday grind than by going on a crisp walk in the fall air. I find getting out into nature really helps to centre me!
Its a special day!
http://amandatoddlegacy.org/2013/09/14/light-up-the-world-purple-october-10-2013/
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/carol-todd/amanda-todd-one-year-anniversary-_b_4021168.html
Every rainfall brings the chance of a rainbow, just like how every failure brings an oppourtunity for improvement!
Going through my old childhood toys helps me keep in touch with my inner child. It helps me realize that life is meant to be simple and carefree!
I'm putting this up in support of world mental health day on OCTOBER 10th 2013!!!!!!
Holidays are great times to rally your family around you!
FIND FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!! Talking to them is the BEST thing I ever did :)
Your School counselor is a great resource.... Mine helped me understand my stresses so much better!
I take the time to prepare for my day the night before. I make my lunch, pack my work up and have it all by the door. Doing this has really helped me sleep better and I feel like I stress less!
When I am most stressed out I find it best to prepare all my weeks food ahead of time so that I don't have to worry about making food in the middle of my rushed work week!
I use this guy to model for my graphic design. Looking at him also reminds me that deep down at the very core we are all the same!
Here are some of the developmental stages of my art. Art is my outlet to feel better about myself, and make a difference in the world!
HUMOR is my answer to all stress!
My little furry friends comfort me when I am feeling down!
My university has counselors that are free for students to use. You can go to them and find someone to talk to in times of stress
W.J Mouat Secondary has an amazing counselor dept. If there are any students looking for support, their counselling center would be an awesome place to start!
Trinity Western University has a ton of student supports in place. They have academic and spiritual counselling along with a ton of great peer support options! Check it out on their website if your a twu student
At my university we are building a better student study space. I find keeping social and maintaining friendships even when I am busy is the best way to remain stress free!
Family has been my pillar of support throughout my university career. I wouldn't have finished without their help!
I am a graphic artist. I feel happiest pursuing my passion at my workstation creating art!
I take my dogs for a walk when I am feeling overloaded. It helps me center myself!
I go to concerts and listen to musicians who talk about tolerance and love!
Ups and downs are an common part of life! It is so important for us to remember that!
I try not to take everything so seriously! Sometimes you just need to be able to laugh and realize how great life is :)
Without my family I would be no where. I think that there is nothing important than having a family who you can rely on for the good and the bad!
Sometimes school work can wait. If you are putting school in front of health you should take a step back and reevaluate life!
I just need to get outdoors sometimes! Stress melts away out there!
Eating right and not worrying about the small things often work wonders for me!
Finding a way to be competitive in a healthy setting is my favorite way to deal with stress. If I can play a good game of competitive soccer usually I realize my stress isn't as bad as I had initially thought!
Talking to my friends and teachers when something is on my mind is my favorite way to deal with stress in my university classes!
Take a stand for Mental Health!
I use art as an outlet when I am feeling down. It helps me gain a better perspective on life!
I've dealt with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I've developed serious trust issues, trouble communicating with others, and I lash out at people for no reason. The only time I feel comfortable is when I'm alone, listening to music; but I know that's not a healthy lifestyle. I am now 15 and trying to move forward and overcome my depression. It's easier than it was two years ago, I feel like I can do it. I want a future; I don't want my life to go to waste. I'm afraid to open up and accept help from others, but I don't want to do it alone; I don't think I'll be able to. Being depressed has become a way of living for me. But I'm trying to be happy. I'm trying so very hard. I remind myself everyday that I do have a future and I do have the ability to be happy, even if I don't see it yet. There will be an opportunity for me to overcome my demons and move forward with my life.
I am an artist at heart. Creating things helps me find happiness and calm in life. Although my art looks a little dark sometimes, it is just a reflection of how I feel when I am anxious or down. Everyone has their ups and downs and I am ok with that!
Taking a break and trying something new always helps me refresh my mind and regain perspective on the world!
I recently lost my younger brother back in April 2013. He died a week before his 22nd birthday. I wish he would have spoken to me about him being depressed. There is not one day that I don't think about him, I know things could have been way different. I wish I was there more often. I played hockey all of my life and so did he. You know sometimes you think that there's no one out there to listen but there is. We all can keep our ears and minds open. Friends or family. We all need to speak up and let our feelings out before its too late. I write this in memory if my late brother. I hope that whoever out there who is feeling down and out, teach out to someone. There is always somebody out there. Thank you.
Exercise, breathing techniques/meditation, eating well, doing activities I enjoy, staying active, making attainable goals every day of the week, and spending time with positive people are what have helped me the most through my depression. Whenever a bad thought comes into my mind I try to replace it with the opposite, positive thought and repeat that to myself until I believe it. Keeping life positive when you are feeling down is difficult (as I am discovering now in my first 'relapse' in two years) but each small victory helps and building on them is what has helped me the most in overcoming my illness.
I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder as well as depression in the spring of 2011. I have worked extensively with both my GP and a specialized cognitive psychologist over the past two years to address my issues and attempt to regain a normal, happy life. I was doing great until this past weekend where certain events caused me to make a full 180 degree reversal, and I now feel as worthless as I did in 2011. I learned many techniques over the past two years to help me through times like this, however this is the first time I have to use them for any serious issue in my life, and I am having a very difficult time with it. I came here to share my story and hopefully receive some advice and motivation from other people who have been through similar circumstances. Furthermore, I would love to help people who may be dealing with similar issues but are not as well equipped to deal with them.
After struggling with depression for five years, and then severe anxiety for two years on top of that, I got clinical help. It's frustrating- sometimes infuriating, but it's also soothing and helpful. I was placed on anti psychotic medication four years ago, but I recently decided to quit using it. (That of course is something you need to discuss with a medical professional.) With the struggles I've had, I learned to forgive and forget. I know there are a lot of people out here in the world struggling. I just want you to know that you CAN do it. There are still bumps in the road, but there will always be bumps in your road. Speak up. You deserve help. Even if you think otherwise, there are so many people that love you and care about you. Sometimes there are more people that care than you will ever know! Personally, sports helped me cope. Hockey has always been an intrinsic part of my life, so when I finally gave it some attention, I realized that it gave me the sense of belonging I needed. Sometimes it makes me sad, but everything that makes you happy can make you sad. The story of Kevin Bieksa and Rick Rypien (which directed me to this website) spoke to me. It hit me hard. So much so, that all of my speeches in my college classes were dedicated to RYP and suicide prevention in his honor. I think about you every day Rick. My pledge is to reach out. I'm making the commitment to help and get help. I will not judge. I will not stop until people get the help they need. I won't stay silent. This is for you Ryp.
i make lists of things that make me happy.
It seems like canada is really involved with the wellness of people's minds and that is truly awesome. I wish america was like that. everyone is only concerned about good grades and making money.
Don't try to take it all on yourself, or pretend that only you should be the one to deal with your problems. It took me a very long time to learn this, but it's alright to be sad, and to need help. Asking for it from people you love and trust - especially those you trust - is not a sign of weakness. There's a reason humans are social beings; it's so we can support each other when we need it.
Knowing that tomorrow would be new day, I kept going, and eventually things got better, and better. Be patient. It will get better. Also taking personal days off work once in a while helps too. If your feeling down, take the day off and do something fun!
Playing music is the best way I use to describe how I feel to others. It's so important in my life. It channels good vibes in my body and the product is beauteous and harmonious sounds. Playing music is my favourite way to relieve my stress and anxiety. I really need it in my life and I'm glad I have the right supports around me to keep me believing that.
This was one of the Art projects that help me get through the year :) enjoy!
At lee school everything possible and is preparing you for regular high school. Our teachers Donna,Roopy,Megan,Brennan, and Stewart! Everything in lee school is for special needs students .Lee school is the best school if you don't go to lee school go and try it you will have fun.
I believe that we, as teens, need a firm hand from not adults, but our peers. Teens and adults do not think alike, therefore in turn they cannot relate to problems effectively. We need to simply have assistance from friends. Stand up, fools. That's your purpose as friends. We as teens have an obligation to help each other.
Elementary was tough I was bullied had hardly any friends but The friends I had we're there to support me that was until they did not want to be friends with me anymore in grade 7 after 3 years of being alone I met my friend from preschool alas it was only one year I went to Guilford park for about three weeks in that time I had no friends I lied to my mom saying I did but I would sit in the hallway eating lunch all alone I would've been in Guilford park longer but I decided to skip school so much a home bound teacher came to my house teaching me out of his own leisure I could tell he didn't like me cause He would get angry but still I dealt with it. Then I grew the courage to tell my mom that I needed help that is when I came to lee school there I met many friends the teachers were amazing all the support I got there in the first couple weeks made me feel that this place is for me a very comfortable environment I've been at lee school for 3 years now and I never forget the support I have gotten over the years I've had at this school the only school I've ever felt I belong was lee school. I have to leave this year which makes me worry what will I do hopefully I will be fine
I take myself away from my thoughts and express myself through taking pictures and putting my emotions out there through photography.
Lee school is a school for special students and it is made to help us but also to have fun. All lee school students belong at lee school. All students are uniqune in many ways. All lee school students are different All Lee school students are very interesting in like so many ways. Lee school is made to prepare us for real high school as well as make us comfortable . Lee school makes the students fell happy or at least most of them/lee school students
Learn to play music. I learned a new chord on guitar, a new section of a song, whenever I felt down. You can feel great about learning your favourite song or make your own.
You are not defined by how you feel in this moment. Your name is not anxiety, depression, or grief. It is Jon, Shaun, Kayla and Carrolyn or any of the other million names out there that it might actually be :)
Whether I am happy or sad, art always makes me feel like I belong :)
I love to be at Lee school because it is an amazing place for us students to meet other wonderful students through 10 up to 12 even some who are in university
I spend time to encourage youth to participate in social action groups, which I feel really makes a difference in changing the way people look at mental health!
We are special like pumpkin pie(also happens to be my favorite food haha)
How almost all of us students at Lee School feel like we belong and feel safe go Mr.Mcquarie.
How great our teachers are and principal
My school lets me get out of class to learn about mental health!!!!
My lovely young person recognized that our Inner City School had a number of students who are struggling with mental health issues. As a result, she has been working for two months to organize Kwantlen Park's first Mental Health Awareness Day. We are proud to share that on April 30th, there will be Mental Heath programs from around the lower Mainland who will have tables set up in our "den" that students can access for information over lunch hour, and for classes as well...perhaps making an important connection. On May 7th, we will follow up with a cake (donated by Safeway) and information about Child and Youth Mental Health Awareness Day in our school.
Our Councler teaches us to be mindful
I am a student from guildford park, and I am in the HOPE Program i thinj For students to see and be able to know that there are people who want to help us, find ways to deal with any mental health disorders, and to just understand what the situation is and put yourselves in a situation of a young person to understand what can help and what won't at the time being, but knowing you have an understanding, to show and be a friend to give that young person or student or whoever it may be that you don't do this just to do as work, or a job. But acknowledging that its because you want to help us. Which help ourselves (youth) to realize its ok to go to someone for help and to speak up, and recognize there are people who want to help because they care not because they are obligated or because its something they have to do because its their job. Also which helps is for us (youth) to know and learn how our brain functions, what our body goes through physically, and what state of mind we go through when we are struggling mentally
Our school, Guildford Park Secondary in Surrey, supports students through HOPE program, a program where students who experience emotional challenges can learn mindfulness skills and receive support through a school counsellor. This is just one way the school supports students apart from the school's counselling team, administration and the rest of the staff who are taking a serious look at the challenges young people experience in their lives and take a stand to educate the community about these challenges and ways to deal with them.
At my school, the counsellors and teachers really check up on you if they know you're going through a rough time. They really know how to give you support and advice, especially if you are unsure of what to do. I think that the open, positive environment is a great way to help someone come out of their comfort zone to talk about how they're feeling. They let you know that it's safe to talk to them about whatever you may need, especially if you feel scared to talk to your parents or friends about it.
Mental health is still really stigmatized throughout the school and society. I would like to see a course that teaches people how to best deal with their mental health given as an elective in my school. We have PE as a course, so why not treat mental health with the same level of respect and metal health!!
My school (Fleetwood Park) does a mental health presentation for each grade except for grade 12. I set up with my principal to tell my personal story then and give a presentation for the grade 12s.
Our school has a social school counsellor that comes up to you first to see if you need help. It is just really nice to know that someone in the school that knows nothing about you that wants to help you with all they've got. I'm glad that I've met him, because he really reminded of me that I was important and reasons why I should be proud of who I am. It's awesome. :) don't ever let anyone bring you down!
I think it's great that people are becoming more aware of mental health issues and am really glad that people are becoming more aware of mental illness. I personally struggle with schizophrenia and am looking forward to hearing about other kids like me with similar experiences and to know that I am not alone.
My counsellor and I are organizing a mental health awareness day for the 30th of April. Our goal is to raise awareness among the students that mental health is something that does exist and needs to be shared and looked at. We are hoping to have a successful day and make sure every student can access the different informational tables and get the chance to ask questions.
It's such a good idea to share how you feel. Don't keep your thoughts and fears inside.
I am SICK of watching people hurt because they think they are not good enough. This is something I wrote about a month ago. I feel like I’m going to wake up one day and be 80 years old and have accomplished nothing. I am afraid of not being good enough for myself, never mind other people. I have been teased, bullied and told that in some way or another that I am not good enough. Even though I am told by the people who love me that I am; Beautiful Courageous Intelligent Funny Kind Compassionate Clever And destined for success, I want to believe that I am worth talking to about a political issue, not just small talk. I want to be asked my plans for the future, not how I am doing, because the answer I give is not wanted. They want something simple and easy to understand, like “ good” I am not good. I am not bad either though; I would describe it as yellow, like a moon, Lonely, able to see and observe but unable to take part. Sidelined almost. In order to convince myself that life is indeed worth fighting for I tell myself that I am brave, courageous, kind, all the while hoping that I can believe it. I tell myself that what people say does not matter, and it doesn’t/ I still believe the talk though, so maybe it does. I want to grow up and go on with my life knowing that I did something worthwhile. That because of something that I did or said or wrote, a kid somewhere sees the brighter side of, Even if it’s only one person. I want to make someone happy. I want to speak out against self-harm, depression, mental illness and bulling. I want to make someone’s life better than mine was, even though I know I am very lucky that my life was not completely unbearable. I feel like there is not enough being done to curb the shit, there is no other way to put it, that kids go through. I know. I’ve been there. I used to cut my left arm whenever I felt like I couldn’t handle anything, and I used to believe all the stuff that people said about me, but now? I do not. This world is racist. This world is sexist. This world is homophobic, Ignorant Discriminating, Biased, And I make a promise to not shut up until there is change. I am 16 years old, and I will not stay silent.
I was 15 at the time I was diagnosed with depression; I actually told my family that I needed help and it's not been easy but I never stopped fighting - speak up and don't be afraid --- speakup@mindcheck is doing an amazing job here And I encourage everyone struggling to speak up. It's not going to be easy but it's going to be worth it.
You only fail when you give up. Success is a long steady road of challenges to achieve your goals. There is always more than one way to concur challenges. But the most important thing I found to remember is that my goals change as I move through life. I accept this and it doesn't matter if those around me accept it or not. I need to be me.
When my life is intense I focus on things that interest me. Writing is one of my best coping mechanisms, and writing about Tampa Bay Lightning hockey makes me calmer. It's also the way I get my story out to others. Honestly, writing about what I went through during my own depression battle helps immensely. Writing is a great thing, and I've used it to my benefit this past year.
Talking to others, and getting a chance to connect with my community. There are great resources out there, like 1-800-SUICIDE and 310-6789.
When the world becomes too much for me I often, and especially when I was a teen, turn to some form of escapism whether that be video games, sleep or something unproductive that allows me to disconnect from my problems. Obviously this will cause more problems. In this setting I often feel hopeless and that my problems are too big for me and there are too many of them. When I feel suffocated by overwhelming circumstances in my life now, I take 10-15 minutes of quite and calm time to evaluate what is going on in my life. I make a small list of what needs to get done and try not to face everything at once, just what I can handle. I go about my tasks and when I know I've done a good job I never shy away from treating myself for being good to myself :) Life become less intense and I feel like I can breathe again.
Growing my knowledge upon the subject of mental health has really done a lot for me, so taking an interest in how a persons mind works is a good place to start. It's easy to understand and realize why someone might feel down or why emotions get out of control. One thing that works for bringing my mood up is physical exercise, and it really doesn't matter in what form you do it. I encourage people who don't feel like playing sports to just take a 15 minute walk to any place they like. You don't have to think about your problems, in fact try not to, just let your brain level out your serotonin. Doing some regular activity will have a positive effects on you that you will begin to feel very quickly.
Every morning I wake up hoping my mind will be quiet. I try to meditate but as soon as I stop my mind is loud again. Exercise helps but again as soon as I stop my mind is racing again. I pray for help.
Always reach out to somebody you trust, and if you dont have anybody you trust seek an anonymous line or a professional that is liable to help you. never give up on help, it will come.
Take my hand guys, its our time to be superstars and change the world. We have a voice, let's use it!
I remember this when life is intense.
When life is intense I feel like I can't breathe.
I talk a lot. Talking is my best coping mechanism and is what I rely on to get better. I need to lean on the people in my life when I am feeling overwhelmed and life always is too intense when I don't have the time to talk out my issues. And when I don't have time to lean on the people I love.
When life is intense I don't feel like I have enough time for myself. I feel like there is a lack of balance. And when I am only working and doing school work and there is no ME time I feel like things are only weighted on one side. I need my support network of family and friends to lean on and when I don't have enough time with the people I love I feel overwhelmed and like I can't cope.
When my life is intense my head is like a whirlwind full of racing thoughts, a ton of emotions, and voices. I have learned to live with the one voice that is always inside my head, but when things get intense I hear more voices that tell me to do things or tell me that I am in danger. I get paranoid and think people are out to get me. My life becomes disorganized and I isolate and avoid people and being out in public. My anxiety shoots sky high and I feel very scared and also sad. I can't seem to do things that normal people can do - everyday things become impossible. Fortunately, I have taken the steps to connect with a mental health team and now my symptoms are more manageable and I have supportive people in my life to help me through the tough times. With treatment things do get better.
Meditation,morning sublication,and making others happy make me happy for a whole week
This little ball of fur gives me unconditional love everyday and makes me happy
I've had ups and downs in my life, probably more down then up but right now life is pretty good. I know better then to think that it'll be like this forever but while I am still having such a positive outlook on my world i thought I'd share a photo. No matter where life takes you there will always be at least one person who loves you enough to give you a reason to choose life over death.
My mother died when I was 6. It was confusing and I didn't understand why she wasn't coming home for years! I had, had the same nightmare over and over again, where she would leave me. A few more traumatic events would contribute to my Post Traumatic Stress and Depression. For years I thought that I was CRAZY! I would cry myself to sleep at least 3 nights a week. I thought that this was just life and this is how it was for everyone BUT ITS NOT When you loose a loved one, yes you feel pain in your heart, but I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart, and instead of the wound healing it grew worse every year became harder, and it shouldn't. I finally went and talked to my doctor and told her everything, she referred me to a counsellor, and now 19 years after my mother passed I feel right in the world! I WISH I HAD DONE IT SOONER. If you think something isn't right, don't be embarrassed!
Meditation :)
Something that helped me get past my recent battle with depression was reconnecting with my past. For years, I loved to write. When I was battling depression I wasn't writing about things I cared most about. Now I do. My personal blog (which chronicles my battle with depression) can be seen here: http://frommyhearttoyou.wordpress.com/ I also write NHL articles for RantSports.com which can all be viewed here: http://www.rantsports.com/nhl/author/laurenburg/ Also, the counselor I saw for 2 months, along with family & a few of my good friends, really helped me. They were always there when I needed to talk and urged me to continue with my writing--even after some sites rejected me. Honestly, without any of this I wouldn't be the success story I am today!!
Understanding depression isn't just about realizing someone is suffering from a mental illness - it's about empathizing and understanding their pains and frustrations. It's about being there with them, and supporting them and showing them that you care. It's about listening to them, without judgement or trying to give them a solution to their problems and heartache. Sometimes they don't need answers or solutions, they simply need a friend to listen to them. I think a large part of depression is the fact that its labelled as "depression" rather than a mental illness. The stigma associated with depression is devastating. The average person will hear "so-and-so has depression" and they're thinking, "he/she will snap out of it soon enough". They think, "sure everyone's been depressed at some point in their life, be it from a break up or failing an exam in school". But mental health depression is so much more than that. It's an illness. Just like someone who has cancer can't just "snap out of it" or get better as they wish, people with mental illness are no different. They have an illness that they may beat, or in some cases, the illness beats them (through suicide). We have to realize that and not assume that we understand their depression. When we have the flu, we can't just snap out of it and get better, just like a person suffering from depression can't just snap out of it. We need to realize they have more than just "sadness", or "depression" which is what many of us claim to experience when we are sad. But it's completely different. It's an illness, just like any other physical illness. If we don't have a mental illness, we can't understand what it's like to have clinical depression - just like someone who's never had cancer before cannot understand what it's like to have the disease. And this realization is the first step to becoming aware of the severity of mental illness.
Volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Teen Mentor. Giving to someone else can help make you feel better about yourself and you get a new friend.
Catching up with friends over delicious coffee
watching the sunset by the water
Going for walks to see the fall colours
Playing with my four legged friend
Paddling with my Dragon Boat team
Swimming with turtles in Maui
Swimming underwater in a cave
Knowing the weekend is just hours away!
Seeing people that I haven't seen in a very long time and when you meet up it seems like no time has passed at all.
Seeing people do random acts of kindness :)
When my alarm goes off and I realize I can sleep in an extra hour.
A really tasty coffee early in the morning when I don't think I'll be able to snap out of my sleepy fog.
The wind rushing past my face as I run
Seeing the sun burn off the fog this morning.
Challenge yourself to identify at least one good thing that has come out of a bad experience.
Do something nice for someone, just because.
Each night think about the three things (big or small) that brought a smile to your face. Write them down or share them with those who were a part of it.

Typing on a keyboard