As time moves forward and we, as individuals, learn to be more politically correct, inclusive, and egalitarian; as we deep dive into the slew of societal issues we should be addressing, we must place mental health as a priority.
There is no sure way to identify a person suffering with mental illness yet still, Stats Can reports that, 1 in 3 Canadians will be affected by it in their lifetime and these are just pre-Covid numbers.
Getting help, can be as daunting as admitting to the problem because let’s face it, who does one get help from when it’s unclear what help should look like? Where to get it? Or who pays for it?
In an ideal world, people would not have to go at it alone.
Companies could provide mental health & wellness benefits so employees could have direct access to experts. Canada’s top 100 employer awards would be given to businesses doing their part in offering mental care to their workforce. And Human Resource departments would stress the importance of language to avoid, in the code of conduct handbook.
More and more companies are creating a Diversity and Inclusion department but starting the discussion around mental health in the workplace, is seemingly a slow process. This is where we need everyone to step up and ask that mental health awareness be a part of the agenda.
We could make a difference if we try.
This year i have given myself a challenge, to write a blog about my experiences in 2021, focusing on mental health. My objective is to have an entry every two weeks with my experiences that strengths my mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evened out the playing field, giving the others all of us a taste of what it means to feel isolated, a sentiment individuals people suffering with mental illnesses know, all too well. One of the many taglines of 2020 was: alone together. Those words have more impact today than ever before.
The past year has forced many organization, to understand that mental health should be everyone’s priority.
Luckily, Bell Let’s Talk begins it’s 2021 campaign early and brings the subject to the forefront and into the kitchen of all our households (wind of change).
This year campaign slogan is: EVERY ACTION COUNTS.
In January, I have volunteered at a local community organization. I will be responsible for contacting a small group of seniors. I am putting into actions the suggestions of Bell Lets talk campaign, check in on a friend and to reach out to a co-worker at least once a day.
Another aspect that strengths my mental activity is My fitbit. I am never without it. My challenge for the next two weeks is to complete 10000 steps daily. I will let you know my success rate in my next entry .
Another activity that strengthens my mental health is I have decided to cook a meal from every part of the world. This week it is Jamaican food. Now it is off to the store to purchase items I require for this week meals.
Talk to you in a few weeks.
Remember, EVERY ACTION COUNTS
Bell Let’s Talk Day is behind us and it is now Black History month. February is more of a challenge for me especially this year 2021. I feel as if I am in the intersection of two major spheres, Black Lives and Mental Health Matters.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in my late twenties, I have managed to control my mental health.
I am a fitness instructor and a mental health coach. The tools that I have developed and used over the last two decades have assisted me in controlling and stabilizing my mental health. I am the subject of a book “ Audley Enough, you can soar above Mental Illness that is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
As one of Bell Let’s Talk’s spokespeople, I have developed a recipe for success that has kept me mentally stable for almost two decades.
One of my many initiatives today, is to partake, encourage and coach discussions on the topic of mental health in the Black community. There is a rise of young folks, like the ladies at My Mental Health Matters, the team at Prévention CDN-NDG and at the Empower Hour, that is talking about the importance of mental helath and it is important for me to be a part of the conversation to help guide it.
Historically, with all the issues that a Black person has do deal with, we were not able to acknowledge the issue of mental illness in the community. Now taking care of our mental health is being acknowledged in our community.
Today we are aware of several artists and actors, that thrive inspite (despite of) their mental illness. I am certain they would agree that it is a great first step to identify that there is an issue that must be address. Secondly, the series of actions that one takes to manage are critical: getting support, identifying resources, and developing a routine.
It is critical for us to keep this conversation going all year and I continue to look forward to sharing what I have acquired in my toolbox over the years.