Recently as I was telling a friend that our Foundation is going to raise money for CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health), her reaction was a very common one, ” Why?”
The question is also mixed with fear and confusion and I find that all the excitement I had instilled on them about attempting to climb the 7 Summits, is gone.
When I explain, among other things, I want to do it in memory of my mother, that causes even a bigger confusion and I get asked, “Why your mother? She was not crazy?”
Sometimes I am left taken aback, sometimes hurt, but now I am learning to say: ” Of course not. My Mom suffered from severe depression, that went untreated.”
Mental Health continues to have a huge stigma in our society. And if you add a cultural aspect to it, the stigma is even greater.
The words “mental health” continue to be associated with people in asylums and psychiatric hospitals and people have a hard time dealing with it. It scares them.
A person can be diagnosed with Cancer and it will illicit sympathy. If a person is diagnosed with depression, suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety, etc, people pull away from them. And they are left to feel even more alone and isolated.
Its time for “Change”.