tiered system

Two Tiered system

How can we help the maximum amount of people with a two tiered system?

It should surprise no one that 2020 is one for the history books. I mean, whoever thought wearing a mask would become a standard accessory? Not me, so many changes. Sadly though, so much has remained the same. From my view, many of the things that need to change to keep us safe are being neglected. Most notable are the two tiered system we are all forced to live with.

For me, when the pande`mic began, I was, like many of you, scared to death. I thought to myself, “What the hell is going on?” The world as I knew it seemed to make a permanent change overnight. If it weren’t permanent, other things about COVID-19 got penned under the category of undetermined.

Experts warn that mental illness will be the next pandemic

The best example I can think of for this was the quarantine. No one could tell us how long we would remain in our homes. Although being stuck within the four walls of my home at the time was painful; it was not as painful for me as it was for most; I assume. Living with PTSD, I prefer the solitude that only being at home brings.

For me, being isolated was easy on my battle with PTSD. My depressive disorder, however, not so much. That was hell; its flames fuelled by the chronic worry that only clinical anxiety can bring.

Essentially, I was a hot mess but as up and down as I was; I could still put a lot of energy into thinking about how we can use those tragic times to identify some of society’s biggest social challenges or the lack thereof. Maybe this is exactly the type of thing we needed to force the changes that would better everyone’s lives.

tiered system
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Having what seemed like all the time in the world to solve these things, I concluded that this two tiered system has left the vulnerable even more so. What’s worse, a pandemic will leave an untold amount of people who lost loved ones and their jobs in this vulnerable category.I thought this is the time to push because this influx would have to get addressed.

Having said that, I am a mental health advocate; I have spent a lot of my time thinking about the potential damage COVID-19 would have on the pre pandemic and post pandemic populations. The ramifications, I thought, will be enormous.

Coping with mental illness during the pandemic

So, after all that thinking, what did I conclude? I saw that the current mental health system as insufficient. What I was two main issues; One, the public system is severely under-funded and two, the private mental health care sector is too expensive for the many who were already suffering from a mental health condition. Now, as the dust settles and we are free to move about; many more people are in desperate for help. Makes sense, right? But if this broken, two tiered system was failing us before COVID, it was sure to leave those in need out in the cold afterwards.

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE MENTALLY ILL.

Being through the public system, I saw how precarious it was before the world ground to a halt. So many people turned away or otherwise discouraged because of the long wait times that they give up trying.A sad and disturbing reality.

With this in mind, the pandemic excited me in a sense because I hoped that governments and citizens alike would see this two tiered system for what it is, divisive, costly and morally wrong.

Want to hear more about the struggles of people fighting mental illness? Go to A New Dawn podcast.

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Unfortunately, the “new normal” seems to only consist of social distancing and mask wearing. Other than that, it’s business as usual. What does this mean for us? Well, from my perspective, it’s also business as usual. So far, there has been no move to increase mental health funding, no legislative move to make the system accessible to everyone, and no outcry to demand change…. We can do and must do better.

However, we live in a society where money will always trump compassion and thus funding will always flow away from the right thing and into the corporate branch of our society. That is precisely why we need to merge our voices as one and insist on the necessary changes needed to get away from this two tiered system.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

When depression speaks

When Depression Speaks

It really sucks when depression speaks.

Humans are a wonderfully diverse species. All one needs to do to see this is to take a look at the numbers of different languages we speak. We are so diverse, in fact, that as of 2009, there were 6,909 on earth; (Linguistic Society of America)(1). Similarly, Major depressive disorder also seems to have its own language. If this is true, what does it sound like when depression speaks?

Of course, it doesn’t truly speak, but what it does do is hijack one’s positivity and replace it with its own repertoire. This hostile takeover makes you hate the things you love by nattering in your mind’s ear; and we humans, if we hear a lie long enough, it starts to become truth. Amazing how our own brains can take something it knows to be true, turn on its head and make us accept a lie as truth.

Indeed, our interior script gets written in the style it’s either trained in or what it’s pre-programmed software has written, genetics. More likely, it’s a combination of these two.

Genetic factors in depression

So, when depression speaks, it’s often in a discouraging tone. For example, it will take you out of your entire routine. Saying things like, “Nah, I’m not going for my morning run today.” or “F#$% it, I don’t feel like cleaning out my car.” For many of us, this negative speak can land us in bed for the day; for some, even longer.

In my own experience, when overtaken by depression’s gift to gab, I find that besides being talked out of all that is good for me, I am completely exhausted; drained by constantly trying to fight back against its powers.

When depression speaks
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Under these circumstances, I find it difficult to rally against depression. I find it so hard because often I don’t realize that I am not my regular, positive self. It’s not always possible to be self-aware and therein lays the problem. Ultimately, depression will win the day with its brand of speak. I say let it! If for whatever reason it slips past my defences, I relent and let it have that day.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, its this;

  1. Give yourself permission to rest but set a limit. E.g. a day.
  2. Seek out and or continue to seek therapy.
  3. There’s no shame in your mental pain.
  4. Finally, get your ass moving again.

Why not read Anxiety And Depression.

Once you have taken the time to weather the storm, get back to living. Don’t allow depresson’s sneaky one liners to take command of you for long periods. I, for example, will force myself out for coffee or I will find a quiet trail.

So, what does getting moving again look like for me? Well, simply put, at a turtle’s pace at times, whist others, I can hit the ground running. Personally, I gauge it on the amount of residual brain fog and exhaustion I feel.

Effective ways to manage depression

With that said, if I make it as far as the couch, it’s a success; likewise, if I get up and feel well enough to hit the gym, it too is a success. The important thing here? I tell myself and now truly believe that they are of equal success. I’m tired of feeling bad for feeling bad, no more. It really is ok not to be ok. You got this!

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

Trending buzz words

Trending buzz words?

If it takes a village to raise children, then it takes a nations people to tackle its injustices. Not trending buzz words.

COVID-19 at its peak was tough on so many all over the world. So much worry in fact, there were tons of talk on mental health. People, experts and lay person alike wondered about the pandemic’s impact on our mental well-being. My question now is; where did all the buzz and concern go? Are we a society full of two minute trends and trending buzz words?

If this is indeed the case, I have some real concerns around emulating the behaviours of social media’s algorithms. Firstly, if we are to tackle or most pressing social concerns like mental illness, how do we get anywhere if it falls off the radar faster than a supersonic jet?

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

I’m afraid we can’t. Even though a few of us, in comparison to the total population, still champion the cause, most are moved on to the next three-minute outrage. While I am proud of the work we are all dong as mental health advocates, is it enough?

How to advocate for those with mental illness

I think it’s time that we recognize the destructive power of mental illness, Not only is it damaging to the individual but it’s impact on all of us is too large to be a treading buzz word. Furthermore, we need to work on understanding how events around us shape the mental health landscape.

people doing group hand cheer
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So dark and dreary are the times we live in. I feel like there is no end to the medias insistence on feeding us all things trauma related. It’s unrelenting. If that weren’t bad enough, some see nothing wrong with posting a video depicting a violent act, they are everywhere. Personally, I feel like gory images do little in the way of getting justice overall because it leaves many more damaged and suicidal.

I think it’s fair to say that mental illness can spread like a virus; fed by exposure to every conceivable tragic story. But also, it worsens by our refusal as a society to ensure we or someone we know aren’t the next victim of the mental illness pandemic. We can accomplish great things if we do so as a collective.

Having PTSD myself, I go further into my shell with all this chaos. I do so simply because it feels inescapable to me. I’m sure many others feel the same. Sadly, while showing the darkest disparities of humanity on social media isn’t likely to go away, it tells me one thing, more help is needed.

Like what you are reading? Try Find Time To Do What You Love.

My friends, the outcry around mental illness needs to be more than a flash in the pan; the talk needs to be more than trending buzz words, it needs to be a battle taken on by the majority, every day. We don’t only lose people to the virus, we also lose an untold amount because of the mental suffering brought on by it…. Please be safe!

Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Lemonade Stand
Pre order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout Our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness