*Note: Thoughts and opinions are my own based on experiences, etc.

It bugs me so much how everything hateful done in this world is automatically blamed on the media, the shooter, guns, etc. Gun control is a start, but it’s not the entire answer. When people start threatening shooters and wishing they wouldn’t be dead so they can kill them, that truly breaks my heart. I know in times like this it’s hard to not hate an individual for what they did, but solving violence with violence will not make anything better. I’m not defending the shooters in all massacres, so don’t go off threatening me for giving a tiny bit of sympathy towards others.

Mental health is so important and always looked away from because it’s not a physical disability. It runs in my family, I’ve seen it right before my eyes several times. Trust me when I say, no one can really understand what the mentally ill individual is going through, or their family until you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s so hard to watch someone you once knew and looked up to the most not have any control of their life anymore. To hear hateful words being said at you having to always remind yourself that what they’re saying isn’t true is so hard. Imagine being terrified to go to sleep at night when your loved one is still awake and you’re not sure if they’ll ever sleep and what they’re doing at that time. Imagine being one of the only ones in your family to somewhat understand how to deal with the situation, and having to try to explain it to others who just can’t seem to grasp it. Imagine feeling helpless and always just wanting to give up but you can’t because you believe you’re the only one there to help make progress. I believe that mental health is a big issue in this world. There’s not enough awareness and I wish I could think of some way to build that awareness up instead of sitting here typing this blog saying what should be done. But I also believe that the people who live or have gone through watching another loved one deal with their mental illness needs all the help they can get as well. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions that may or may not work, but action needs to be done.

As mentioned before, gun control is a start, but it’s not the entire solution. Even if it was harder to get a gun in the world, there are still other ways to access them. Someone can easily grab a gun from a person who has one. The mental-health system should be easier for families and patients to navigate and more supports should be available in each community. Every time some sort of massacre has occurred in the world, a media channel has to name the shooter and make them “famous” for their horrible actions. They bring psychiatrists on to speak about what the shooter may have been going through and they leave it at that. Nothing ever seems to be done or spoken about again until something horrible happens yet another time. I can not stress enough how important everyone in the world needs to be educated in mental health. Many people know what to do when someone is having a stroke. Call 911. Some even are aware of the symptoms and how to detect when it’s about to happen. But do people know what to do when someone is going through a psychosis (no longer in touch with reality for weeks, maybe even months). Do people know how to detect that sort of thing? No. I never did either, until it happened to someone close to me the first time. A few years later, the second time it happened I thought I suspected something a while back, and to this day regret not doing something about it sooner so it may have been prevented.

Mental illnesses can take many forms, just as physical illnesses do. Mental illnesses are still feared and misunderstood by many people, but the fear will disappear as people learn more about them. If you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, there is good news: all mental illnesses can be treated.

Facts about Mental Illness (Courtesy of CMHA)

Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How common is it?

  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

What causes it?

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
  • Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.

How does it impact youth?

  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
  • Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group, affecting an estimated one person in 100.
  • Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.

I sincerely hope that one day the we can change the facts that are in bold to 5 out of 5 and 100%….

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

1. Having a lot of great influencers in my lifetime. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

2. Being able to attend a top college in Canada, and graduating debt free.

3. Internet. Without it, I really don’t know where I’d be in my life. That sounds messed, but seriously, Google has saved my ass many times.

4. That my family is alive and healthy. Also, very close to one another.

5. Access to clean water, and food whenever needed. Sometimes I don’t really appreciate that stuff enough.

6. The ability to connect with long distance friendships via services such as Skype. Long distance relationship can work in today’s society.

7. For always living in a safe place and I not having anything to fear when I’m at home alone or not.

8. That something so small but delicious like a cup of tea really can solve anything. Just have to believe.

9. The past few years in my life have always been filled with growth, learning and adventure.

10. My parent’s life stories from when they were younger. Really helps me appreciate the hard work they’ve gone through to make a great life for us all now.

11. My siblings. I can’t imagine us all never getting along. I consider myself lucky for having such a great connection with each of them. It’s good to know I can always count on them.

12. A patient, and loving boyfriend. I know I’m not always easy to put up with.

13. Inspiring authors who always seemed to know how to write my life story.

14. Having a good eye for things. Especially when it comes to fake people. I’m glad I can finally recognize when I really don’t need that something or someone in my life anymore.

15. My favourite soap opera still being on the air and going strong. ABC’s General Hospital. Yup, proud fan. WATCH IT!

16. Being welcomed and accepted by my boyfriend’s amazing family and continuing to grow a great connection with them all.

17. Not being limited to what I can do with my life and always knowing I will have support.

18. Heat when it’s cold, and A/C when it’s too hot.

19. My parents always big on the value of a penny and helping me start a savings account ever since I was young.

20. Tea and chats with my sister some nights. Perfect way to end the day with my favourite person.

21. Fiat500 coming to Canada. Could a car get any cuter? Can’t wait to get one, one day…some how…

22. Stretchy pants for days like today. Still don’t understand how I manage to eat so much in so little time. God bless you, yoga pants.

23. YOU! Seriously, all the comments, likes and follows just keep me going. Knowing people enjoy reading my posts motivates me to continue with my blog. Thank you all! <3

Note: I’m starting a new segment called First Thoughts. Basically, I’ll be writing about the first things that run through my head about a certain topic in today’s society. Whether they’re questions, comments or concerns. All opinions are my own. Let me know yours!

Justin Trudeau: Liberal MP Justin Trudeau announced his bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.


“How old is he exactly?”

“A fresh and beautiful face…..”

“Just what we need after Harper.”

“I think I’ll put my vote to use next election.”

“I need to creep him on Twitter.”

“Ha, he actually tweets interesting things. So cute…”

“I wonder if people will support him only because of who his father was.”

“…and because of that gorgeous face.”

“Just mentally signed up as a volunteer for his campaign.”

“Have to remember to sign up for real….”

“Youth is what we need for the future generations.”

“I wish Canadian politics were as interesting as American.”

“When can I vote?”

*You can read the speech by Liberal MP Justin Trudeau here.

Last night I was reading some blogs, and watching comedy TV. I stopped myself in the middle of it and realized this isn’t what I want to be doing. I love to read, and laugh but thinking long term – I’m doing my life wrong. I’m only 20 (and a half) but even then, I didn’t expect myself to be where I am right now. I wanted to use my youth to be successful so young. Have people read about me in the news and think “Wow, she’s so young! and she’s done that much?”

Turning off the TV, minimizing the blog window, and putting the kettle on, I sat to think. Really think. Not just thinking about the definition of a term for a test, or what I should make for dinner tomorrow. I set out some goals for my life within the next few months (before I turn 21) and then a huge goal that I want accomplished before I’m 22.

Before I got into that, I realized there were some things I had to set straight. What I was doing wrong, along with what I notice others are doing wrong as well.

1. Finding something you love, and dealing with it later. Why not right now? Start slowly working your way up to it.

2. Having your Twitter account lock protected. It’s not Facebook, you don’t need to hide yourself from people you’ve never met. Two way communication- Network and meet new people. Why are you even on it?

3. Spending time with people who don’t have the same interests as you. I’m not saying to ditch your BFF from like, forever, but motivation is usually brought upon others who are close to you. Surround yourself with good company who have the same life goals as you.

4. Holding onto the past. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

5. Being negative and thinking you’re not ready. Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. This is usually a pivotal point in your life to help you grow beyond your comfort zone. Change will be worth it.

Are you doing it right?

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