Living Well: Mental health issues still under-treated

Project Semi-Colon uses a simple semicolon symbol to carry a powerful message.

  • Sep. 2, 2015 7:00 a.m.

What do a semicolon tattoo, the phrase “To Write Love on Her Arms” and cycling all have in common? They are all social media movements dedicated to inspire and encourage discussion about mental illness, recovery and hope.

At first glance, it is unclear how these three things connect to mental illness. The fact is, not many of us will take the time to understand these social media movements until we know why they matter.

In any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem or illness, with a cost to the economy in excess of $50 billion. Only one in three people who experience a mental health problem will seek out and receive treatment. Of the approximately 4,000 Canadians who die every year as a result of suicide, many were confronting a mental health problem or illness.

I urge you to take a moment to read some of the personal stories being shared in connection with these movements. The stories of struggle, recovery and hope are uniting voices that often go unheard; messages like there’s no health without mental health and you are not alone resonate powerfully. Leveraging the conversation about reducing the stigma of mental illness can be simple yet inspiring.

Project Semi-Colon uses a simple semicolon symbol to carry a powerful message—their website says that a semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, an annual event to reduce stigma and promote dialogue.  This year’s theme is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives. It serves as a call to action to both individuals and organizations. We all have a role to play in preventing suicide by offering support; we can make a difference and help save lives.

If you or someone you care about is in crisis, help is available, call 1-888-353-2273 (1-888-353-CARE) or visit the following websites for information: http://www.crisiscentre.bc.ca and http://youthinbc.com.

To learn more about these social media movements and to read personal stories that inspire hope visit    http://www.projectsemicolon.org/, https://twloha.com/ andhttp://ridedonthide.com/bc/

Jenny Green is a community health facilitator with Interior Health.

 

Just Posted

Youth athletes get $22k from Kelowna builder

Mission Group supports a group of ten elite cyclists and triathletes from around Kelowna

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Coordinated search finds missing Kelowna boy

All available police resources were called in to help find a missing boy Monday afternoon

Kelowna students leave for downhill challenge

A group of students from UBCO is ready for annual concrete toboggan race

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Your Jan. 23 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

Taylor: Humans the theory makers

Lake Country columnist Jim Taylor writes weekly in the Calendar

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Slayer adds Penticton to North American tour

Slayer adds the South Okanagan Events Centre as a stop on their last tour

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Vancouver Canucks confirm participation in NHL Young Stars

Canucks confirmed participation, at least for this year, in the NHL Young Stars event in Penticton

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Most Read