Apparently this past week has been Canadian Mental Health week. And I was totally unaware of it until I saw a poster on the bulletin board at the church this morning. Which pretty much sums up the attitude towards mental health in our society doesn't it?
I mean if it were national Breast Cancer week there would be fundraising activities and stories in the newspaper and everyone would know of it. Same with any number of other issues. But mental health week can come and go with barely a mention. Why is that??
I would suggest it is because mental health is not a comfortable topic with many people. I would suggest that mental health (and its' counterpart mental illness) is still seen as something that is not to be talked about. Which leads directly to the stigma that comes with mental illness.
But let us be honest. Each of us deals with mental health issues. Each of us needs to take care of our mental health just as we have to take care of our physical health. And to be equally honest, sometimes we do just as "good" a job at it. And how many people know someone who lives with depression, or bi-polar disorder, or some other mental illness?
I think it is time to lift mental health out of the role of second-class brother to physical health. I think it is time to give it equal treatment to the rest of our health care issues. Yes that means funding it properly. Yes that means being willing to talk about it. Yes that means reducing the stigma that comes with admitting one's struggles. But in the end we will ALL be healthier for it.
So tell me, what did you do this week to support your mental health? What will you do next week?