The Vancouver Sun features an amazing article on mental health today. The article features two completely different people: a young musician and a long-time, well-known BC Broadcaster, both of whom have struggled with depression.
Having experienced a bout of depression myself once a few years ago, I appreciate the candidness both people in the article displayed, and ultimately their bravery for coming out of the “depression closet”. Anyone who has struggled with depression knows that the fear of what people “will think” about you is often the biggest barrier to asking for help.
More challenging, as in the case of the young musician, is when help is not available. We see this every day at Covenant House – young people who have slipped through the system and not received the mental health treatment they desperately needed. For years, our young people waited 6 months to see a psychiatrist; now through our invovlement in the Innercity Youth Mental Health Project, which brings psychiatrists to Covenant House to meet with our youth, the wait time has been reduced to 8 days.
Kudos to the Sun for running this series – it will run weekly until May 10th. Let’s keep talking about mental illness until it’s understood, treated and accepted as the serious health issue that it is.