October 10th is National Mental Health Awareness Day. One in five people in Canada will be impacted by mental illness. Those 20 percent of people are our friends, family and co-workers. Mental illness is a potentially disabling condition affecting millions of Canadians per year.
OPSEU’s Disability Rights Caucus members would like to remind all members that mental illness is not a choice. Mental illness affects every person differently but stigma affects us all in multiple ways. Stigma from society in not understanding the conditions that people with mental illness face. Stigma from employers and colleagues who don’t see injury or illness but see lack of functionality. Stigma from ourselves believing that we can just suck it up and push through if we were simply stronger.
Mental illness is not something any person, even the strongest, can push through. Mental illness is not a choice. If you are struggling with mental illness tell someone, get help and ask for support. The Disability Rights Caucus was created to support all members with disabilities.
If you are in crisis and need someone to talk to you can call 1-866-531-2600.
You are not alone.