EDITORIAL: Breaking mental health stigma

In honour of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Vernon School District is working to break the stigma around mental health

When someone has an injury, say a broken arm, they don’t try to hide it. A cast or bandage usually alerts others to their injury, prompting them to lend a hand where they can.

But when it comes to mental health, there aren’t a lot of visible signs that someone is suffering. And due to a fear of being deemed ‘crazy’ those who are suffering tend to keep their illness secret.

In doing so, no one can help them. A friend can’t offer an ear to listen, a school counsellor can’t offer support and loved ones can’t try to help.

So in honour of Mental Illness Awareness Week, today through Saturday, the Vernon School District is working to break the stigma around mental health.

Teachers, counsellors and administrators want students to understand that just like a broken arm, there is no shame in depression, anxiety or bi-polar illness.

No one should be treated unfairly because of any illness, especially when such treatment can exasperate an underlying condition.

There is a major concern that those who don’t seek proper support will turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating. But such substances can also exasperate mental illnesses.

So students, parents, family and friends are urged to take in the opportunities this week to better educate themselves on mental health. District-wide presentations will take place, along with mental health screenings and the public can attend the free presentation Tuesday at the rec complex.

With a broader conversation on the topic, it is hoped more people will better understand such illnesses, how to treat them and most importantly, break the stigma.

 

Just Posted

Coldstream celebrates spring with Easter egg hunt

The family-friendly event takes place Mackie Lake House Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.

Vernon woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

Vipers win pivotal game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

Vipers beat the Trail Smoke Eaters by a score of 5-2 and will look to end the series Saturday night in Trail at 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre. Contributed: Vernon Vipers Staff

None injured in small fire near Lumby

“It looks like it was accidental, definitely nothing suspicious.”

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read