Giving Back in 2017 – Why Mental Health?

I am so excited to be taking steps to get back to my childhood of serving and supporting the community I live in.
The last few years I have struggled with how I could give back in a way that mattered when I couldn’t commit time in the amount and with the consistency I really wanted to. 
Then, as 2016 came to a close and I was spending time focusing on reflection in my business and personal life the pieces just seemed to fall into place. There was a way I could share my successes, that I could get involved with a cause that means so much to me, and that just felt right.
(If you missed the announcement go check out the post)
I am a little overwhelmed with the supportive response I have received already since the announcement but some questions keep coming up…

 

1) Why did you choose to support mental health?

2) Which organizations in particular are you supporting?

 
So, if you are curious too let’s dive in!

 


1) Why did you choose to support mental health organizations in London & beyond?


Not long after my daughter was born I was diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder. There was no major event leading up to the diagnosis. No massive panic attacks, no episodes of hiding from the world crying…it was just life as usual as far as I knew but someone recognized things might be the norm for me but there might be something more to it. I will never be able to thank Kay, my college program coordinator, enough for recommending I go for learning disability testing.

I went through what seemed like a million hours of testing (I think it was actually only 8 hours) and came out thinking “I’m going to look stupid, what was I thinking – there’s nothing wrong with me I’m just a lazy procrastinator and too sensitive to everything”

I still remember sitting in the office waiting for the results a few weeks later. There was a huge lump in my throat, I couldn’t sit still, I felt like I was on fire from the inside. One of the people who had tested me walked in, a smile on her face, and told me we had some things to discuss. I wasn’t just silly for thinking I didn’t do things or learn like other people – I had a reason. I have learning difficulties and a general anxiety disorder.

At first I didn’t know how to react. What does this mean? Am I going to be able to finish college? Does this mean I’m going to fail? Do I have to go to a special school?

I cannot even begin to express the sense of relief that washed over me in the next few minutes. The woman came around the desk, sat down next to me and said ‘don’t worry – we have a plan to help’. We spent the next few minutes going over exactly where my learning difficulties and anxiety were, what they meant, and what could be done to support me so I could continue on in my program just like everyone else. 

2) Which organizations are you supporting?


Canadian Mental Health Association

The CMHA is a great resource for information and has been working to reduce the stigma around mental health while increasing the availability of services for all ages throughout Canada.

Current stats suggest 1 in every 5 people struggle with mental illness. Look at you facebook friends list – how many of your friends and family may be struggling but too afraid of being judged to speak up and ask for the support they need?
Vanier Family Services

This is one of the first places that was able to respond and to offer support when my daughter began to struggle with her self image an more.

It wasn’t until we were there talking to a member of the team that I really realized the range of mental health services they offered to children and families.

10 comments
  • […] will be the first to stand up and say I suffer with mental illness. I have a battle raging inside me every day as my depression and anxiety disorder battle me, […]ReplyCancel

  • Mary AnnJanuary 25, 2017 - 10:57 pm

    What a great post, thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • SandraJanuary 25, 2017 - 10:47 pm

    So glad you finally got some answers! That can be one of the hardest steps. Sending my love to you from a fellow battler of anxiety – you know where to find me when you need it most <3 and can't wait to see what this year has in store for you!ReplyCancel

    • Rebecca NashJanuary 26, 2017 - 5:50 am

      Thank you Sandra for always lending your support and a listening ear.
      Let’s make 2017 awesome!ReplyCancel

  • CatherineJanuary 18, 2017 - 12:18 pm

    I love that you’re standig up for this and being so open and vulnerable! Thank you! I agree that there’s a stigma surrounding all this making it hard for people to talk about it.ReplyCancel

    • Rebecca NashJanuary 18, 2017 - 1:04 pm

      Thank you Catherine!
      It has been difficult to share so much but I’m okay with that. I hope that by sharing my own struggles and supporting mental health in our community others will be able to do this same more easily.ReplyCancel

  • Mui TsunJanuary 14, 2017 - 9:01 am

    Great to see you supporting mental health issues. Having suffered from depression a few years back, I know how hard it is to find help and support, and how difficult it is to talk about it, even with close friends and family. We need more people to talk about mental health more openly.ReplyCancel

    • Rebecca NashJanuary 14, 2017 - 9:56 am

      Yes Mui! So very true. So many people have, do or will suffer with some kind of mental illnes – somewhere around 1 in 5 people. Its difficult to recognize in yourself, to admit and to ask for help but we truly can make a difference by talking about our experiences, reducing the stigma, and making sure the supports and service are their when people are brave enough to stand up and ask for helpReplyCancel

  • StacyJanuary 13, 2017 - 4:55 pm

    I love this and am happy to see someone advocating for mental health. I think there are many people who are struggling internally in their mind and that it shouldn’t be such a taboo topic. I love your bravery in sharing and bringing this into your photography!ReplyCancel

    • Rebecca NashJanuary 13, 2017 - 6:23 pm

      Thank you! I really want to be a voice to stop the stigma of mental health and help in the support and healing.

      Its still hard to share but the more people who stand up and share their story the more will be able to ask for help and heal.ReplyCancel