why the cmha?

A question we’ve gotten a lot is why the CMHA? For me, it’s very personal.

Throughout my childhood, I have been surrounded by folk going through rough times. Be it depression (both clinical and otherwise), mental disorders (aspergers and its ilk), or the gamit of other mental health issues (anxiety, mood, eating), I’ve either known or cared for someone going through it, or gone through it myself. It’s been a family tradition for us to support those close to us as they go through issues such as these, and I am no different. Not many people are open to discussing and thinking about details as personal as these, but having another head can make such a difference.

UBC Counselling Services has helped me through some of my more difficult times at UBC, but more importantly, it’s helped quite a few of my close friends and loved ones get over their stresses and depressions. I can count on one hand (almost two hands) friends of mine that Counselling Services has saved from failing out, but more importantly, has made happier not only in the short- but in the long-term. Seeking a little assistance and gaining access to the resources to understand these issues has changed their lives forever.

What I find rather frustrating is the intense stigma in our society around mental health. Most folk suffer from mild forms of these disorders, yet no one is willing to acknowledge them. Mental health disorders are seen as imperfections of character and personality, and no one wants to admit they’re imperfect in those realms. I’ve been fighting these stigmas in each facet of my life (work, play, love) for many years now, and thought it’s time to take the fight more public.

I have a mild form of panic disorder. I’ve studied it in great depth, and it no longer effects my professional life, but it’s something I will have to live with for some time. Because I sought out help and did a lot of independent research, I now understand its triggers and I have techniques that otherwise keep it under control. It’s not something I chose to have, but it’s something I live with. If I hadn’t had the online resources available to help me not only understand such a disorder exists, but to also know what it is and methods of living with it, my life would be much, much worse off. In fact, understanding this has allowed me to play off of it and transform the disorder into a positive thing for life overall, as I’m now proactive against the triggers.

And so that’s why I chose the CMHA. Because if we continue to ignore ourselves, we will continue to be unhappy, and maybe even cease to exist (reason 10).


1 Response to “why the cmha?”

    January 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I’ve recently learned that much of my family also suffers from similar disorders.

    My grandfather had an alcoholism problem. He is easily addicted to substances.

    My mother experiences severe anxieties and depression. She recently, for the first time in her life, faced this in a clinical setting.

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