As May approaches, so do many requests from schools for our presentations to support their mental health initiatives that are often being done during this time. I am in awe at the amazing work that is being done in schools. From day/week-long events to ongoing projects where, not only our speakers are brought in to kick it off, but a diverse range of engaging workshops are offered. Schools are planning – body/mind positive activities such as yoga, mindfulness, drumming, dance, art, eating healthy and many more. When we are included as part of a larger plan that addresses the topic of mental health in a holistic way, it reaches so many more people and reduces stigma.
“The disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together and more than 7 times that of all infectious diseases.” Ratnasingham et al (2012). Opening eyes, opening minds: The Ontario burden of mental illness and addictions.
We all have mental health, therefore we are in need of being exposed to positive ways to improve our overall wellness in a world full of stresses – everyday! A reminder for us all to make our mental health a priority as a consistent and regular part of our lives – in conversations by expressing feelings; by engaging in positive activities, choosing the ones that work best for us; surrounding ourselves with people who will support us as much as possible. As we continue to organize special days and events to bring awareness to mental health, let’s make sure the plan is to create momentum and integrate this amazing work into our everyday lives.