Let’s have a talk friends. This may not be a post purely about art. Although It might pop up, this post is about something way more important. It’s about Mental Health and Wellness. Mental Health affects us all in one way or another and according to The Canadian Mental Health Association “In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. ... Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives. About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).” That is pretty high and pretty concerning especially if people feel ashamed, embarrassed or unable to talk to someone about it. Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk day and it is a great reminder to start the conversation and help end the stigma that surrounds mental health.
I grew up on a very small close knit island called Cyprus. Everyone knew everyone and their business. Yet no one would personally talk about mental health. I do hope that is changing, because culturally, you just don’t talk about that kind of stuff.
It took a post-partum depression diagnosis after my Harvey’s
Calm the F down gland. It’s not an actual emergency.
It takes a lot of work, therapy and in my case, medication to get on the uphill road to recovery. I have been spending the last 3 years working really hard to manage it and to keep climbing up. Some days are easier and better than others.
I am thankful that I feel safe to share my story and challenges with my support network. Not everyone understands, or has the right things to say, but just that they are willing to learn and help is enough.
Moral of the story here folks: be that supportive person when someone wants to talk to you. Be that person who sends a simple text or message to see how someone is doing rather than ignoring the elephant in the room. Worried about someone? Text them/Facebook message them/tweet at them/ instagram dm/ smile signals/ pigeon. WHATEVER, just do it.
Don’t be judgemental about their medications or how they chose to feel better (for example: CBD is pretty baller and legal👌🏻BY THE WAY) but definitely listen and offer help.
I started Boston Creative Co. when my sweet Harvey was 1. I had been diagnosed 6 months earlier, and was still actively trying to get better. Painting and doing something for ME was one of the biggest pushes in the right direction towards recovery (Sometimes they call that SELF-CARE💁🏻♀️). Getting out there to show and display my art, meeting new people and filling homes with cuteness was so healing and fulfilling.
All in all, my babies giggles, making cute pictures, group therapy with my now life long soul sisters and my husbands support and love got me through those dark gloomy days.
If you are feeling any symptoms don’t forget you aren’t alone and reach out for help. Find your village. Some of these links are even anonymous, if that helps you open up at first. It’s difficult, I know, but you are not alone in this.
Here are some helpful links to get started:
Alberta Health Services:
Bell Let’s Talk Initiative: