Month: August 2014

Featured Advocate: Linda from PTSD Awareness 9/21


featured page

del85Linda: I am an advocate because I have 2 sons and a daughter in law who all suffer to some degree from PTSD. I am so proud of them for the courage it took to sign on the dotted line and protect their families and friends during time of war.   I started my page the to help raise awareness that PTSD is REAL! It exists in the minds of those who serve(d) the country and all it stands for as well as ANYONE who is or has been through a traumatic experience. 

PTSD Awareness
This page is to help raise awareness about PTSD in my community.

The walk/run won’t be happening as I had hoped…….Insurance is needed, state approval is needed and I just don’t have the resources I was hoping for. BUT….the purpose of this page HAS NOT changed. I want to get to as many people as possible in my community and all over these United States and farther if I can. PTSD doesn’t just happen to our military… can happen to ANYONE.


Featured Advocate: Anonymous from The Red Spotty Bug 9/20

featured page

del73Anonymous: I am an advocate because I am a single mother who has borderline personality disorder. I  blog to seek and provide an alternative view to the dark stigmas surrounding Borderline Personality Disorder. I am currently doing a series of blogs answering people’s questions they have based on my experience living with the condition.

The Red Spotty Bug
The blogging site of one single young mother living with Borderline Personality Disorder. (Trigger Warning: Some content is Christian based)
A fly went by one sunny day; And so did a bee, that said to me’ “It’s time to fly away”I am a  blogging 23 year old mother.Blogging is my way to think about things going on for me. A large part relates to the fact I’m a parent and also I live with a mental condition.

My hope is this page can be of some help to the many spots of your life that you face.

* I may blog about some of the content on this page. However I get some things are delicate matters so please be assured I will respect your privacy and modify details that may link to you. And in the extreme cases I will not post about matters period.


Featured Advocates: Rehab Experts from 9/19

featured page

del71Rehab Experts:  We are advocates for mental health awareness, acceptance and treatment for many reasons, and a big one is because we recognize the connection substance abuse and mental health have. Nearly 50% of all people who struggle with a mental health challenge also engage in substance abuse. If a person struggles with addiction and mental health challenges, treatment approaches must address all aspects of a person’s issues to get to the bottom of it and help them recover. All too often in addiction treatment, an individual’s mental health may not receive the attention it needs, and treatment doesn’t adequately address everything that’s going on. With more awareness, both mental health and addiction treatment can be improved.

This page is intended to help people learn about the different types of treatments and help available for drug addiction recovery. Websiste


Featured Advocate: Nilam from Side by Side in Mental Health 9/18

featured page

del75Nilam: I am an advocate because  I am fascinated by the topic of mental health. I spend countless hours reading new studies, shuffling through blogs, attending workshops, listening to Ted Talks, watching documentaries – all to get a deeper and wider understanding of mental health and wellness. It’s almost an obsession. Almost. It’d be downright weird if I didn’t have a good reason for it. I do: I lost my brother to suicide about 15 years ago, and soon after, my sister was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I am neither articulate nor imaginative enough to accurately describe how difficult the diagnosis was for my sister. I can, however, share my own side of the story in hopes that it will create awareness and help others in a similar position.

I am the youngest in my family and grew up looking up to both my siblings. I have learned a lot from my sister. She is kind and generous. She worships Mother Teresa and values people and relationships above all else. Everything I know about empathy and kindness, I have learned from her.  In her battle with her illness, she continues to inspire me with her resilience and her concern for others less well than herself. My brother did not possess the same interpersonal skills as my sister but he was gifted in many other ways. He was intelligent, funny and like most big brothers, had a way of being mean only to me. He kindly agreed to help me with my math homework but in his frustration at my inability to understand the most basic mathematical concepts, he threatened to draw a mustache (!!) on my face if I answered incorrectly. I guess you could say he was also very creative. Helpful, smart, mischievous. In other words: best big brother in the world.

Losing my brother was hard and it changed everything I had ever known about life and what it meant to live. It was difficult not only because he was no longer present in our lives but also because we were so terrifyingly unaware of his suffering. How could I not see it? Was he ever happy? Did he know he was loved? Could I have done something? There were a crushing load of questions and what-ifs, but not a whisper of an answer. The guilt and regrets were wounds that would take a lifetime to heal. The only thing we could do was hold tight to his memories and woefully move on. So we did.

My sister’s diagnosis was a different story. In my eyes, it was hopeful. We could do something about this one. Figuring out what the right thing to do and how to get help was the real challenge. It was painful to see someone you love suffer and change so much, and terrifyingly worse to know that the change was out of her control. My sister struggled in her school, career, relationships and fought a severe battle with herself. Even after witnessing her struggles so closely, I still cannot imagine what it must be like to live with such an illness. To live in a world where you can’t even trust yourself.

I think this is what drives me and many others supporting someone with mental health challenges– the need to understand those that are suffering and to help educate those that question the suffering. Watching someone you love and trust, battling this invisible illness enables you to see the hideous creature for what it is and motivates you to tackle it with all your being. It gives you an understanding that cannot be taught and a motivation that doesn’t flicker. Yes, it is a real illness! No, she can’t just snap out of it! Other than the person suffering from the illness, no one else has a closer insight. Family, friends and caregivers are the most valuable, and often overlooked, resources in the field of mental health. We need to find a way to empower them before they are silenced.

Side by Side in Mental Health 
A place of support + more for friends, families and advocates of mental health.
Side by Side is a blog for moms, dads, brothers, sisters, kids, grandmas, grandpas, friends, husbands, wives, aunties, uncles, cousins, plus anyone and everyone that supports and advocates for change in the field of mental health. As caregivers and family members, supporting those suffering with mental health challenges can be rewarding and frustrating, eye-opening and confusing, wonderful and terrifying – a mixed bag of emotions. Family and friends play a major role in supporting their loved ones through times of suffering, their journey to recovery, challenging stigma and creating change. We need to be fluid at managing empathy and distance, strength and vulnerability, listening and speaking up, illusion and reality, and sometimes, sadly, life and death. There are plenty of questions; and the answers are a jumbled mess. It’s hard to make sense of it all but, I promise you, it’s not impossible. With support and education, it’s very, very possible. I hope this can be a place to do just that. Here, you’ll find my personal musings, along with helpful links to services, tips for self-care, resources for support, and lots and lots of updates on current research and news on mental health. You’ll also be hearing about all the incredible campaigns and support provided by grassroots organizations that are working quietly to make a real difference in the field. There’s a lot happening out there. We just have to start looking, and more importantly, start talking… Let me know when you feel ready. We can do this together.


Featured Advocate: Anonymous from Heroin Addicts Lifeline 9/17

featured page

del77Anonymous: I’m an advocate because I’ve suffered from both mental health issues and substance abuse issues. I’m in recovery and have been for a little while now. I know what it’s like to feel helpless and hopeless. There is a way out. I struggled for years and years. My hope is to help other people so they don’t have to be me. There is a freedom and happiness to be had!!

Heroin Addicts Lifeline

Help us unite against the growing heroin epidemic. We will help provide you or a loved one with finding help to no longer suffer!!


Featured Advocate: Deb from Little Girl, Big Dreams 9/16

featured page

del70Deb: I am an advocate for Mental Health and Addiction because I was diagnosed with a severe panic disorder and secondary depression when I was younger. At the time, I was afraid to tell anyone about my condition. I abused my medication, felt embarrassed, ashamed and didn’t believe anyone would understand. I believed there was something very wrong with me. But, here I am 18 years later, on the other side – free from medication and only a few panic attacks to report. And I am no longer afraid to share my story.

I created my page because I am currently studying to become an Addictions Worker/Counsellor and also with the hope of spreading awareness of the link between mental health and addiction.
We need conversations of these subjects daily; education and awareness to help remove the stigma from both. When we share our stories, I believe it encourages others to share theirs and possibly seek help. Let’s keep talking!!

del68Little Girl, Big Dreams
Working toward my degree in Social Work to achieve my dream of becoming an addictions counsellor, and help people in a positive way.
At 37 years old, I finally know what I want to be…guess I am now officially a ‘Grown-up’! I have recently made a positive life altering change, and returned to school. I enrolled myself in the Addictions Fundamentals program at my local collage. My long term goal is to open my own rehabilitation facility. LOTS of work ahead of me, but this is something I am truly passionate about and dedicated to achieving. I am truly grateful to the friends and family who have supported this decision, and who continue to support me.
I created this page to share what I am learning along the way, as I personally feel this information gets lost amongst the news in our society. I will share local information and services currently available to anyone who may need it, and of course share positivity with everyone.

Featured Advocate: Candace from Loving An Addict, Loving Yourself 9/15

featured page

del66Candace: I’m an advocate because I’ve just seen so much suffering amongst people who have the ‘dual diagnosis’ of addiction and mental illness – and I also know that services and assistance for anyone struggling with virtually any mental health condition are few and far between – in Canada where I am, and in so many other places in our world.

Loving An Addict, Loving Yourself
Candace Plattor, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Vancouver, BC offers Addiction Counseling for those struggling with any Addictive Behaviors. She also specializes in helping people deal with their loved ones’ addiction.  Website

Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself presents a dramatically fresh approach to help you get off your loved one’s roller-coaster chaos of addiction, maintain your own sanity and serenity, and live your best life.

The book clearly and simply outlines 10 things you can do to take back control of your life. It covers all aspects of loving an addict.


Featured Advocate: Owen from Recovery for All 9/14

featured page

del64Owen: I am an advocate because I am in recovery and feel obligated to spread awareness to as many people I can who are in need resources.  I began my page as a way to encourage and offer a support and to carry the message of overcoming addictions through recovery.  I also want people to know what resources are available. 


Encouragement through addiction, recovery, spirituality, self improvement and life.  Website

I created RECOVERY FOR ALL as a way for individuals to have a page for encouragement, and support for those who are battling addictions and who are and who seek recovery. I am obligated to carry the message that programs are available to overcome addiction. I am a recovering addict and feel the need to reach and help as many as possible


Featured Advocate: Naomi from A Secret Safe to Tell 9/13

featured page

Naomi: I am an advocate because I am  a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and have battled with complex PTSD, anorexia and anxiety. Her husband says. “She is an amazing woman who is using her own experiences to support and empower others.”

Naomi Hunter A Secret Safe to Tell

Naomi Hunter is a passionate author of children’s picture story books. She writes to empower and nurture her audience through sensitive topics.  Book


Featured Advocate: Tasha from The world through Rylan’s eyes. 9/12

featured page

del56Tasha: I am a advocate, well, because I HAVE to be… I made a promise to my son, before he was ever born, to do EVERYTHING in my power for him to have a great life… we never expected 2 years later to get a low functioning diagnosis, and now, at 3, for him to still be non-verbal and struggle with the simplest tasks, but I made a promise to him, and its a promise I WILL keep! This is who my child is, I wouldn’t change it for the world.. My page is set up to show that special needs children/adults are smart… and normal just like the rest of us, but with a little bit more “superpower” mixed in… I’m an advocate because I am a mother, and THAT is my job

Rylan was diagnosed with severe low-functioning autism in 2013 at the age of 2. This page is to raise awareness and support for Autism and those affected.

My son Rylan was diagnosed with autism in 2013 at the age of 2. I didn’t create this page for sympathy, or anything like that… I created it with the intent on helping others and raising awareness on Autism. So few people know what it is and how it affects everyday lives of those closest to them..This is who Rylan is meant to be.. He is meant to show me something and I will die trying to see the world through is eyes.. He is MY son..I am his ONLY voice… I don’t love him any less because he has autism, if anything, I love him more. 🙂