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Showing posts from March, 2013

"Misunderstood"

I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I'm an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one
"Bitch" song lyrics ~ Meredith Brooks
Ever feel like you just can't win? Ever feel like whatever you say or do is the absolute wrong thing? OK, now add mental illness: depression and anxiety in particular. Makes for a roller coaster of emotion and turmoil.

The reality for many of us with these illnesses is that navigating life and the day to day responsibilities of work and relationships can be hard. No, make that beyond hard.

Eighteen months ago I returned to work after experiencing a major depressive episode, one of the darkest chapters of my life. I was on short term disability leave from my job for about five months. It was har…

"Non-Believers"

 “There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”   ~ Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees
In my last post I spoke about attending the Canadian Mental Health Association's Bottom Line Conference on Mental Health in the Workplace. It was for me, an inspiring event. To be surrounded by people committed to learning about mental health issues was pretty wonderful.

Yes, there were many kindred souls in attendance but here is the surprising thing - there were some who were not exactly on board with the whole idea of mental illness as "illness". And they weren't really buying into the concept of workplace accommodation.

Surprise! At a conference focused on raising awareness about mental health issues impacting Canadian society and the workplace today, there were "non-believers&qu…

"Sick Not Weak"

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I recently attended the Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) Bottom Line conference on mental illness and the workplace. For someone passionate about this topic, the conference was what a trip to Disneyland is to a child. I was overjoyed to be there, ready to lap up every word uttered by each and every presenter. I was ready to change the world with my new gained knowledge!

My employer was a sponsor of the conference and a fellow Human Resources colleague and I were chosen to attend. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with many like-minded souls and discuss a topic that is really one of the last social taboos in society - mental illness. Throw the workplace into the mix and we are really onto a hot topic.

The keynote speaker was Michael Landsberg, sports broadcaster and host of TSN's Off the Record. He was, in a word, energizing. In 2008 he s…