Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
There are some things that never should be talked about; gram’s terrible foot fungus should not be something the broadcast; or that time your little brother once sat down and began to play with the contents of the cat’s litter box. But, there are topics that should never be taboo: mental healthCanadian mental health often gets put on the back burner, and it should not. Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member or friend. Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational, income levels, and cultures. Which means there is no way to completely prevent mental illness; like the same way you can’t prevent little Sally from falling ill with the cold.

If Canada has put mental health and wellness on hold, then Prince Edward Island seems like it surely forgot as well. Youths affected by mental illness will go unnoticed because it is not something you can go around and tell people. It should. You can go around showing off your cast from your fall, but you can’t seem to tell anyone you feel depressed or have had thoughts of harming yourself. Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds. I firmly believe this is because of the stigma behind mental health. If you have bi-polar you would be considered a freak, different, messed up, etc. Knowing that response, why would you tell anyone anyway? How can you tell someone your anxiety is so high you cannot function out in public
As someone who has suffered the name calling, and the stigmas of mental illness, I think we should start implementing mental health awareness in schools. While kids are young, they should be taught that it is ok to talk about it or feel this way. Not treat others differently because of it. We are still human underneath the illness
Signed, The Mentally Ill