I personally wanted to get involved with CMHA [because] I thought it was a great cause and I know that they are doing great things for our province and that they need help to continue providing those services. My family lost my Aunt to mental illness in 2011. It was a very hard time for us and an awakening for me to know that anyone can be touched anytime by mental illness and it’s important for all of us to be aware of that and support initiatives that help people who need them.
The Tickle Swim is a 5km swim from Portugal Cove to Bell Island. Last year we had over twenty swimmers, I think it was twenty four, and raised over $30,000 for CMHA-NL. The Tickle Swim was a great way to get involved because not only was a personal achievement, but it was a great way of taking something painful and difficult and turning it into a positive experience that can hopefully help a lot of other people. It feels really great to be a part of something that you know is going to make a difference. I wasn’t the one that made the contribution. People contributed to the cause through me. I feel very grateful to all the people that donated. I had set my goal at $1500 because I wanted to beat my friend that did it last year and I did! It was really amazing to know that so many people are invested in this cause.
I’m very lucky to have a support system of friends and family. We are lucky to have a pretty good health care system that takes care of us when we need it. I’ve always been a pretty active person, but I think accomplishing something that I never really thought I could do was a real mental confidence boost. To know that I’m strong and I can do this, and to push through something that was so hard felt like a huge accomplishment for me. So yeah just trying to take care of all aspects of wellness.
You are not alone, even if it might feel like it. There are people out there and there are services in our province that are in place to help you. CMHA is a really great resource for education. It is really important to get awareness out there about mental illness and how it affects more people than you think. So go online, look up what they do and how they can help you in your area would be a great first step!