A little about me
I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer and blogger. I have written for Elephant Journal, Today's Parent, RENDRD, and more. Just recently, I released a creative project to help raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health. The booklet, which is a collection of stories from other people about their experiences with mental health, can be viewed here.
"I look out my bedroom window and think about all the things I want to say but can’t. I think about the countless times I’ve said: I woke up with a headache, instead of: I woke up depressed, unable to get out of bed this morning. I think about the times that I’ve felt shame and embarrassment around my own mental health struggles, unable to talk to the people around me for fear of pushing them away, for fear they won’t understand, for fear they won’t believe me.
I imagine what this would be like, to be able to say all of this. I imagine what it would be like if these stigmas did not exist.
I imagine a conversation. Two people. A coffee shop.
It’s cold outside, but their drinks are warm."
How is your depression?
I first came up with the idea for this booklet when I was struggling with my own mental health in university. I felt like there was no one I could talk to or there was no way I could explain what I was experiencing. I wrote a short story about two people sitting in a coffee shop, one turns to the other and asks: "Hey, how's your depression?"
I wanted to write this book to start a conversation. I wanted to help de-stigmatize mental health by normalizing the way we talk about it. We shouldn't be so afraid to say, I can't come into work because I am extremely depressed, for fear that people will judge us, or won't understand, or won't believe us, or will treat us differently "now that they know".
We have a long way to go, and open dialogue is just the start.
You can access a free copy of the booklet below. I am encouraging all donations to InkWell, an organization that does creative writing workshops for people with mental health and addiction issues in Toronto. Please donate below.