This week on YouthSpeak’s Speak Real podcast, Christian caught up with Bisleen Attli, a naturopathic doctor who has recently started her own virtual clinic called, “The Mental Empowerment Centre”. Her practice is focussed on teaching individuals how to master their mental health and work through their anxiety and depression, more specifically defined as mental illness. Alongside the virtual clinic, Dr. Attli does meaningful work with schools and organizations in her community. She has even created her own mental health campaign called, “All About Mental Empowerment”.
When Dr. Attli was just 16, she was diagnosed with depression. Unable to get the support that she needed, her life began to spiral downward. Unfortunately, things got worse during Dr. Attli’s time in university. Finding herself in the hospital during this time, she knew she had to make a change in her life. With hard work, determination and goal-setting, Dr. Attli’s life started to change for the better and she was able to get herself to a place of great mental health.
Upon meeting people who share similar experiences with her, Dr. Attli knew she wanted to help others do what she was able to do. Today, she strives to support people in creating their strategic plan to better themselves. And although Dr. Attli has come a long way, she acknowledges that her journey with mental health is never ending.
Dr. Attli emphasizes the holistic importance of lifestyle and its impact on mental health. In her own journey, when she realized that medication and counseling would not be the only answers for her mental health issues, she started asking herself questions about her lifestyle. “What foods am I eating? How much exercise am I getting? Am I getting enough sleep? Are my daily actions contributing to my happiness or my sadness?”. Mainly focussed on diet, exercise and sleep, her lifestyle changes are what have carried her forward.
While change can be hard, Dr. Attli highlights that these lifestyle changes do not have to be drastic, and you can start small. Turning off your phone 30 minutes before bed to improve your sleep is one way of achieving this. Dr. Attli stresses the importance of conducting her practice by keeping an open mind when it comes to patient treatment. She says, “No doctor should ever be in a mindset when they’re so strict and rigid on one way of healing. There are so many different ways to heal out there. Different things work for different people.”
Dr. Attli states that one of the biggest lessons she has learned has been the benefit of reaching out for support. She says, “I feel like my depression could have been cut down from five years to a year or two if I had just asked for help sooner. … If you keep working at it, you will be successful. … No matter how many downs I had, and how many bad days I had, every day I would get up and try to be better. … No matter what, I am overcoming this and nothing is going to stop me from it. That determination really allowed me to get to a place where I had great mental health.”
Watch the full episode here:
At YouthSpeak, we share one-on-one conversations with our youth speakers on their journey through topics on mental health and wellness. These are their personal stories and ways they’ve overcome various obstacles in their lives. We want to help youth find their voices and empower themselves through the power of their narrative!
YouthSpeak is a charity organization based in the GTA, Canada that conducts assemblies and interactive workshops to help increase the resiliency of youth facing challenges today. To find out more about our projects and initiatives visit https://youthspeak.ca/.
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