But at the end of the day, do intentions matter when the ways in which I was vulnerable were overlooked and unacknowledged?Until we recognize the ways some of us are more vulnerable when it comes to mental illness and poor health interventions, we're not having a meaningful conversation.During Bell Let's Talk last January, there was a quieter campaign called Bell Let's Actually Talk, by activist, educator and artist Gloria Swain.
But at the end of the day, do intentions matter when the ways in which I was vulnerable were overlooked and unacknowledged?Until we recognize the ways some of us are more vulnerable when it comes to mental illness and poor health interventions, we're not having a meaningful conversation.
After several weeks of feeling increasingly hopeless in the hospital, I checked myself out.
For many years, I didn't seek mental health support.
I owe much of that to my network of support — my family and friends — but not everyone has that good fortune.
The way we grapple with who is being left out of the conversation when it comes to mental illness is of major consequence. I hope that one day soon, more people like me can point to our formalized mental health systems as a source of healing.
His death fuelled debate over implicit bias and the intersection between race and mental health.
(Handout photo) There is more to be done in researching and understanding the ways racism, poverty, sexuality, gender, religion and other identities play a factor when it comes to accessing quality mental health care.Until our support extends to those who are in greatest need, we're only scratching the surface when it comes to talking about mental illness.Today, my mental health remains a journey, but I am living a life beyond my expectations.She was in her 30s (I was 18), a couple of inches shorter than me and of a different ethnicity. I argued with the nurse until Maria ambled into the room, and when the nurse saw her, she silently capitulated, retrieving my medication.It would take a couple years for me to discern what happened that evening and to take stock of the moments over the years where who I was and what I looked like affected the level of care I received. Years later, I began to see the expansive, systemic gaps in care that could make two Black women interchangeable and their voices disregardable to a white staff.I dreaded creating greater financial and emotional strain for my family.I continued seeing the doctor assigned to me as an outpatient until one day she told me there was nothing else she could do for me.Let's talk about studies like this one, funded by the Wellesley Institute, that connect the dots between poverty, racism and barriers to healthcare. It angers and saddens me to think about Andrew Loku, Pierre Coriolan and Abdirahman Abdi — individuals whose skin colour and mental illness were read by authorities as dangerous.Andrew Loku, 45, was shot by police in 2015 after refusing to drop a hammer he was carrying.I stood in line at the mood disorder ward for what felt like a long time, looking at the back of another patient's head.Some days, this was the most time I spent amongst other people.