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Featured Advocate: Suny from Finding The Spark : The Journey Of Seeing Past Mental Illness 4/6

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delsparkSuny: The reason I am fighting stigma is a long one. I was diagnosed in 93 at 14. The stigma forced me to hide and seclude and miss out on a lot of years of healthy life. If I can help anyone not go through the struggle I have been through I will consider it a success. Far too many people are hiding and secluding because of unnecessary shame associated with mental illness. With a combined effort we can truly Stop the Stigma

Finding The Spark : The Journey Of Seeing Past Mental Illness

This a documentary showing how we can defeat mental illness and the stigmas associated with it.

This is a documentary dealing with the stigma associated with mental illness. Far too many people are suffering from something they are scared to talk about due to shame or pride. Needless suffering has to stop. forcing people to isolate more than their illness makes them needs to stop. This movie will open a pathway of communication about the struggles of finding health in a society that is not very helpful. Take part in the process of change and stop the stigma.

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Featured Advocate: Bobbie from It’s The Depression Talking TRIGGER WARNING 4/5

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delbobbBobbie: I became a mental health advocate and author (“It’s The Depression Talking: A Self-Help Memoir “) after spending two years in a horrendous bout of severe depression. I have been a sufferer since my early twenties. In my mid-forties I found myself detached, isolated, in tears constantly, and suicidal for the first time. What scares me the most is, my suicidal ideation didn’t even scare me. With the help of medication and a good doctor, I got better and wrote my book, started a blog, and a Facebook page for other sufferers.

Sometimes an inspirational quote on Facebook can change someone’s day. Reading a book about someone else’s struggle helps people to know they are not alone. I want uneducated people to hear what a REAL day in the life of someone who is severely depressed is like, so they can relate better to their loved ones who struggle

. I want to give other sufferers someone they can relate to, as well. I think I achieved that in my book by being brutally honest about depression. I just wanted to help lend a voice through my own experience.

It’s The Depression Talking SELF-HELP, DEPRESSION, MENTAL ILLNESS

“In my formative years I had social phobia and extreme separation anxiety from my parents. I had my first panic attack at fifteen years old, and was diagnosed with anxiety. Ultimately, in my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. 

I have quit numerous jobs, I have been on disability, I have isolated myself for months at a time–several times over the years. I have slept years away to escape my pain. I lost precious time with my children and family. I lost my life, up to this point, because of depression.”

Finally a book that does not sugarcoat the reality of depression. Learn how I slowly pulled myself out of a horrendous two year depression that had me bedridden, and suicidal for the first time.

Whether you are a sufferer, or you care for someone that is, my truth will change the way you relate to depression.

Book                                                  Blog

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Featured Advocate: Cindy from Recovery- the Journey that follows 3/26

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delembCindy: At an early age, I thought I could “save the world” and everyone in it. Elders tried to discourage me throughout my life saying “You can’t help everyone”. When I began my recovery, I was fortunate enough to have my husband by my side, but no other friends or family to be there for me in my time of need. That is when I decided to create my home online group My Journey, then later on my page Recovery- the Journey that follows. We all long for understanding, compassion, and respect. And sometimes this is easiest to find among others who share our situation or outlook. My calling was thrown into full mode in no time. I enjoy helping people, hearing their stories, helping them get down to the root of their addiction, giving them the resources they need, and listening to them vent or ask for support.

Recovery- the Journey that follows:  Addiction, recovery, mental and chronic illness, self mutilation, etc. We provide inspiration and the resources needed to cope/overcome your struggle ❤️

Group: My Journey is a place where men & women can comeand support each other through life’s difficulties. It is where we strive to build an online family. We all long for understanding, compassion, and respect. And sometimes it’s easiest to find this among others who share our situation or outlook. That’s where our support group comes in. There is nothing like sharing stories and experiences with others on the same path. *****We discuss addiction, recovery, depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, chronic illnesses, and self harm.

Our group is a tight-knit family, where we can be free and comfortable with one another, without feeling judged or criticized.
Feel free to post any question you may have for fellow members, or myself.

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Featured Advocate: Laura from Think Positive, Think F.I.T – Facing Illness Together 3/18

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delthinkLaura: I am an advocate because I believe that mental illnesses are one of the most difficult type of illnesses to manage for the sufferer – partly because of the nature of such illnesses, but also because there is still so much stigma attached to mental illness.

Therefore I created a supportive community called Facing Illness Together – a website and various social media sites including two Facebook pages and connected groups, whereby anyone facing a chronic mental illness, or physical, can join to be a part of a group of people who are all Facing Illness Together! – and that way it’s a little easier to manage illness, and there’s the opportunity to meet others in similar situations, share stories and advice, and just be yourself.

Think Positive, Think F.I.T – Facing Illness Together

This is the Sister Page to the Facing Illness Together Page. This page is for chronic illness peeps who choose to Think Positive 🙂 F.I.T – Facing Illness Together, is a community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram and the F.I.T website, aiming to support anyone facing a chronic illness over the age of 18. Please support us by liking our page and sharing on your news feed…

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Featured Advocate: Cindy from Beautiful Warrior Chicks 3/17

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delbeautCindy:  I am a mental health advocate because I grew up with a father that is a paranoid schizophrenic and I also have an uncle that was diagnosed the same. Growing up I didn’t know of advocacy or groups that could help families cope and adjust to the changes (of course we also didn’t have technology like we do now). I decided to learn more about mental health so I went to school and I have a bachelors in psychology but I also plan on returning and getting a degree in counseling with my focus being mental health once the baby is a little older. I want to help families that may be going through what I went through

Beautiful Warrior Chicks  Encouragement and support for those trying to cope with the rejection and hardship of having a family member that has a mental illness. Website

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Featured Advocate: Ria from Everiathing and Ria Jade 3/16

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delria3Ria has supported mental health awareness campaigns because she is aware of how it is to suffer from this illness. She has anxiety and has gone through the lowest moments of her life more then a year ago but is trying her very best to stay strong.

Ria is a victim of bullying and is still struggling with anorexia both of which are very sensitive issues for her. However, she knows how much expectations she has to meet owing to her position right now and she has dreams. She knows that the stigma is still there and it is like a hump that she has to get over every so often.

It is for this reason that she is setting up a Paint It Purple Charity Fashion Show in December (we hold two events each year and the first one is our Awards Night). All of our events benefit Anxiety BC. She wants people to accept everyone for who they are and not ostracize. She used to prioritize anti-bullying among her advocacies, but for about 6-8 months now, her priorities changed and mental health is her number one cause.

Ria also initiated her school to participate in Light Up The World Purple for World Mental Health Day last October 2014. A school event organization rallied to wear green rather than purple to avoid a conflict with their “Kindness Club” campaign the following month, but Ria argued and fought for Light Up Purple, insisting that it was the more urgent advocacy and that people all around the world would be seeking support for LUP and will be watching what happens on LUP day. Through her non-stop efforts, Ria, along with 70% of the school population, including her principal and teachers, wore purple on LUP day! It was a sign of victory for mental health awareness!  More Information

Everiathing is a TV Show for Canadian talents and achievers and Canadians with inspiring stories. Show also features places and events that benefit the youth. eveRIAthing is a program of Everiathing Network, founded in June 2013 with office located in Maple Ridge, and studio located in Surrey, BC.

The show is directed by Jackie D, who is also the Founder of GIFTS School of Theatre Arts (founded in 2008). It features talents and achievers, inspiring stories, places, events and causes.  Because everyone deserves to be seen, heard and appreciated. On eveRIAthing, wishes come true — One dream at a time!’

eveRIAthing is solely produced by Everiathing Network which is also the owner of the GIFTS School of Theatre Arts (founded in 2008). eveRIAthing airs on SHAW Channel 116 (Metro Vancouver).

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Ria Jade

My name is Ria Jade and I am a girl from Vancouver who aspires to inspire. My goal is to inspire and empower people all around the world to follow their dreams, stay strong, and believe in themselves no matter what. I want to touch people with my music and always want to share the stage with others because I think everybody in the world deserves the chance to shine.

I am a singer, songwriter, musician, host, public speaker, humanitarian, vocal coach, and food fanatic. I also love making and producing music tracks. After music, my next love is writing since you can always find me writing a story.

I am a strong advocate of mental health and anti-bullying and hope that one day mental health issues will receive more attention. I do the best that I can to promote positivity and radiate kindness. 🙂 I am also a supporter of the LGBTQ community and want to promote body positivity.

I also host my own TV talk show called ‘Everiathing’

As a teenage girl, I like spending my spare time going out for frozen yogurt, shopping, and most especially being with my family and friends. I am so grateful for each and every person supporting me in this journey and I want to be there to inspire and support them too no matter what. 🙂

And to you, reading this right now, never forget how beautiful you are. 🙂  Website   Twitter

Light Up Your World Purple         I Am Titanium Anti-Bullying Episode     Life After Bullying for Shaw

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Featured Advocate: Cat from Why do the voices in my head sound like the Avengers? 3/15

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delaveCat: I am an advocate because I have struggled with my own depression/anxiety since I was 19 years old. I have been prescribed many types of medications. All have made me feel useless and sleepy, shaking more and always needing to be increased. I worked in GA as a Certified Peer Specialist for over 8 years. I felt very grateful because my boss who was also my counselor at the time found something in me to help others and recommended me for the job, encouraged me to take the course to become certified and take the test.

I loved working with my clients, not just because I could relate to them on a personal level, but because it helped me to teach them what I had learned, and they in turn helped me also. The first day I started, the “educated clinicians, the registered nurse, the doctor, were all in awe that I could openly discuss my illness when it was always a “no no” in the past. I walked right into the first group and stood before them, and I said what they never expected. “Hi, I am Cat and I’m not here to do what others before me have done.

I am not here to talk about you. I am here to talk TO you. This will be about YOU and I am not here to talk to your you family, your parents, your siblings or your doctor. I also have a mental illness and I’m not afraid to talk about it with you.” Of course the other “leaders” thought I would be the first person fired when cutbacks came. But all their education and years of “service” meant nothing anymore. I was the last person standing when they were all phased out. Only a PEER can understand what someone with a mental illness goes through. Only a PEER has been there and done that. I have my own personal experiences to draw from. They could finally open up to me because I WAS THEM.

When a client sat in front of a doctor one time, with his mother and I beside him, the doctor and the mother continually discussed the client without speaking to him directly. It really bothered me. At one point I looked at them and said, “Why are you asking me what he wants? Why don’t you ask him? He is the patient, he has a voice.”

They didn’t like that. But he finally spoke up. He finally felt heard. I was the one person who was empowering him and things began to change. Countless other clients broke free from the cage of stigma that had held them captives in their parents controlling home. I had several who went on to become peer specialists also. They moved out of the parents homes and moved into their own apartments. They stopped feeling like their illness and stopped allowing it to define who they were. They were not “Bipolar” or “Schizophrenics” but people who lived with Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. They were PEOPLE FIRST.

My page is my silly way of relating to my illnesses with humor. Humor is the key to my survival. If I can’t laugh I cry. Neither is a bad thing, but I would rather laugh. And I make a lot of others laugh, at themselves, at their illness, and feel better. I try to inspire, comfort, make someone laugh, and let them know that they are not alone. If they feel better then I feel better too.

Why do the voices in my head sound like the Avengers? I deal with my depression/anxiety disorder with a little help from 6 Avengers. This is a funny blog I started to share my humor and writing.  I am a 40+ woman dealing with depression in an unique way, with a little help from 6 superheroes, the Avengers.

Everyone with depression deserves to be heard.

Everyone talks to themselves, “take out the trash”, “pick up milk”..and more. Some of us are just a little more creative…

Website

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Featured Advocate: Anonymous from Fighting Against Stigma 3/14

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delst1Anonymous:  I am 20 years old (and from Austria!). I have been struggling with anorexia and depressions (maybe borderline) since I turned 14.

Since then I have been on medication (which helps a lot). I had also to be taken into hospital because of psychosomatic cramps in my stomach, from time to time. I also grew up with a mother struggling herself with an anxiety disorder and depressions.


I’ve started my page ( now in German too) because I want to break the silence surrounding mental health and illness. It has encouraged me a lot, to see I am not alone and I do not have to be ashamed, because I need and ask for help.

I also want to inform people about the differences between the various disorders, etc. on my page.
And I want to encourage other people and help to understand people with an mental illness – there is nothing to “just snap out of” or “get over”!

Fighting Against Stigma: Fighting against the stigma of mental illness!
#FightingAgainstStigma

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Featured Advocate: Gloria from The Bill Becker Memorial For Change 3/13

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delbillGloria: I am an advocate  because my son passed away while under a court AOT order and so many missed opportunities, missed chances – CMH and the judge dropped the ball and he paid the price – There has to be change NOW. My son was working with a Detroit reporter / news station and we are now making sure his story is heard and that his voice continues to be heard.

My son should not have died – but the way things are now – no one stopped it – no one listened to me his sister or his girlfriend. I am going to either work with or start a group holding CMH to the highest standards, I am going to keep doing what is takes to change the way things are as a whole and to keep the memory of my son alive. He had said “mom. Kevin’s Law isn’t going to work for me – but maybe it will help someone else” that’s who my son was.

The Bill Becker Memorial For Change

On February 8th, 2015 Bill Becker‘s battle with mental illness ended. Bill was a loving father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. On February 8th, 2015 Bill Becker‘s battle with mental illness ended. Bill, a loving father, son, brother, uncle, and friend, lived his life helping others, from working in the food pantry to literally giving the coat off his back. His death was premature and avoidable. He had so much more to give…..

WE, THE SYSTEM FAILED HIM

The current policies and practices of mental health treatment have proven time and again to be ineffective. They are based upon archaic treatment models and fragmented delivery systems. The lack of continuing care, medication monitoring and adjustment, family and community involvement in the treatment process; allows our loved ones to fall through the cracks of this fractured system.

THE SYSTEM MUST BE CHANGED

You, yourself know this to be true. We implore you to advocate for this cause now. You, we, can’t afford not to. We are losing some of our brightest and best.

PETITION: Fully Fund Michigan’s Kevin’s Law and begin Mental Health Reform

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Featured Advocate: Kara from LIFE Beyond Bulimia 3/12

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dellife2Kara: I am an advocate because there are so many people who are quietly suffering. Mental illness, and those who are affected, do not always look the way you may imagine a mental illness to look. Often, people with a mental illness are living a stable life on the outside, masking the mental self-torture going on inside of them. So many face their issues alone because they do not know where to turn or get support. Having suffered from Bulimia, myself, for nearly 20 years, I know all too well the fear of being “found out.” To most people who knew me, it seemed like I had it all together. They had no idea of the turmoil going on inside me. This put even more pressure on me to uphold that outward image. It was a constant battle going on inside me until I found the resources that helped me to recover. My wish is that, Life Beyond Bulimia, offers hope, support, guidance, inspiration and a sense of connectedness, knowing that if you are suffering from an eating disorder, and the mental anguish that comes along with it….you are not alone.

LIFE Beyond Bulimia: Offering support, knowledge and inspiration along your path to recovery from Bulimia.

Recovery is not about what you weigh, what you eat and how often you exercise. Don’t get me wrong…they are important components to your health! But there are more pieces to the recovery puzzle than these factors alone. We tend to overlook that the quality of our relationships, the state of our finances, our mental health, career, spirituality – are all equally important contributors to our overall well-being and GETTING well. 

My hope is that BEYOND BULIMIA will inspire and encourage you, in all these areas, to be the healthiest you in every way along your path to recoverED! :Certified Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach

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