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Mustaches for men’s mental health

You can make a difference

As we all know COVID-19 has brought many things to light. Trade issues, financial unrest for families, who were once living in stability, thriving local businesses are now closing up shop, and in my opinion the silent epidemic – the mental health crisis. An alarming statistic shared by CAHM, by the time a Canadian reaches 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness.

Having dealt with my own mental health crisis is the past, I feel that I have more than a surface-level understanding of how it can affect an individual. Let me take you back to a time when I was a teenager – it feels like it was yesterday. I was at work and an associate of mine mentioned that I had a phone call, not thinking much of it I ran over and picked up the phone to hear a dear friend of mine say “I want you to hear this from me before anyone posts about it, Bob has passed away… he committed suicide”. The emotions I felt were overwhelming, if you have ever heard of the 5 stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – I stampeded through the first 4 in a matter of minutes.

The 1st was denial, I asked why they would lie to me about a subject like this.

2nd I was furious they would even consider fabricating a story about suicide.

3rd I immediately went back and forth with them saying it couldn’t be true – Bob had always been a happy guy.

4th was a feeling of dread and depression, it felt like the world had stopped.

5th which came much later was acceptance

You have to understand something here, Bob was always the go-to supportive friend, always happy, always out and about – but as I started to do some research, this could have been just smoke in mirrors to hide the demons he was fighting by himself.

As I looked back after receiving the news, I had remembered rejecting a call from Bob as I was too “busy” to answer at the time and never ended calling him back. To this day I contemplate if I could have been the person that changed his life

YOU COULD BE THE DIFFERENCE

Don’t take advantage of you the people who are close to you. You see that phone call, answer it. You see your friend not acting like yourself, offer support, and ask questions. If you think they need more help then you can offer, reach out and connect them with local services!

 Connect Counselling offers tons of great services in the Okanagan! Drop-in groups, individual counselling, and even referrals. If you have questions please contact myself at stephen@inspiredgentleman.com or head to connectcounsellingsociety.ca.

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