RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Moreau’s Story

Watch Asst. Commissioner Moreau’s story RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Moreau has come forward with his personal story about mental health recovery. Moreau has experienced depression and suicidal thoughts; overcoming these challenges has inspired him to become the RCMP’s National Champion for Mental Health. Moreau believes that—while the public as a whole should be more open and accepting when it comes to mental illness—RCMP officers, in particular, often forget that acknowledging and facing mental health challenges is a marker of strength, not weakness. “We are all human beings. Underneath these red tunics, the Red Serge, we are human beings first. Some of us […]

Support in a mentally healthy relationship

By Deborah Schratter Disclaimer: this entry has been reviewed by Michael Schratter who has given his full consent for the information below to be used. The other day, a friend and I were having coffee, and talking about recent news with Ride Don’t Hide. She paused for a second, and then she looked at me and said, “Hey, I have a question. How do you know when Michael’s getting manic? What do you do? I get this question a lot. I always think it’s because people secretly want to know the symptoms so they can assess their own partners. I […]

Out of the Shadows–Triumph over mental illness and addiction

Watch Andrew’s story “Hope” is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops—at all –Emily Dickinson There was a time when I lived without hope. Mental illness struck me at the heart of my youth. The University of Victoria had been my sanctuary for six months when the first symptoms emerged. And then slowly the storm intensified. It started as mere rituals and preoccupations. Fixations with cleanliness, order, symmetry and personal appearance overtook my drive for academic achievement, and even the most insignificant triggers initiated the need to check, […]

Everyone Has Their Own Story: Meaghan’s Story

Watch Meaghan’s Story Meaghan is a 21-year-old student studying video and TV production. A few years ago, she found out she has bipolar disorder which includes episodes of depression and mania. Meaghan has come forward with her story in the hopes of making other people, especially youth, feel less alone in coming to terms with their own lived experiences. From a young age, she felt overwhelmed but wasn’t sure how to explain her anxious feelings. “When I was going through school, I definitely had a lot of anxiety. But I didn’t even know what anxiety was about. My impulsive behaviour […]

From Silence to Fighting Stigma: Anni’s Story

Watch Anni’s story Anni is a Vancouver woman who was confronted with some unsettling news last year. She found out she has a severe condition that would cause her heart to stop beating for up to 5 seconds at a time. “I found out my heart wasn’t beating properly. And when I found that out, I started getting panic attacks and anxiety. I couldn’t leave my apartment. I couldn’t go to work. I battled my mind several times.” After a series of panic attacks, she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and OCD. Anni had trouble walking to work or at […]

Heard at the Water Cooler: How’d you get into volunteering with the CMHA?

Blogger Cynthia Luo recounts her experience with CMHA’s Ride Don’t Hide blog and the people she met along the way by Cynthia Luo Above photo: Saba Fatemi and Joanne Wolanski, well-appreciated CMHA volunteers, fill up the water coolers for some of the 3519 participants that rode Ride Don’t Hide. As a volunteer myself who has been involved with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) since April 2014, I’ve met so many interesting people at their different events. When breaking the ice, it’s not uncommon to ask, “So how’d you get involved?” However, the answers you get tend not to be […]

Going the extra ‘Myles’ for mental health

By Kim Pringle Myles Mattila is 15 years old, Captain of the Farr Fabricating bantam Tier 1 Cougars hockey team, a mental health advocate and the top fundraiser for Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide – Prince George. So how did Myles become so involved in speaking about and promoting mental health? There are two major factors in Myles’ life that brought him to this point. One was when Myles’ friend went through a tough time with mental illness. Myles wanted to help, but didn’t know how. The struggle and uncertainty surrounding this experience left a lasting impression on Myles. […]

Three Cheers for Shoppers Drug Mart North Shore collaboration!

(Leona Acaster with her husband, Brad (left), and colleague, Colleen (right), at the 2013 Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide) During work hours, pharmacist Leona Acaster frequently encounters people living with mental health concerns. It’s admirable that during her off-hours, Leona and her team decided to voluntarily co-organize a fundraising event with two other Shoppers Drug Mart branches to shine a brighter light on mental health issues on the North Shore. The fundraiser took place on May 2nd and all funds raised supported Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide. By Cynthia Luo Last year, pharmacist Leona Acaster completed the 60-kilometer […]

Life in motion and hope in struggle

Paula Vaisey (right) and the Spin Sisters Team at Ride Don’t Hide 2013. By Paula Vaisey, Education Programs Coordinator, CMHA BC I work at CMHA BC, and on our wall we have a great photo montage of some of the places Michael Schratter went to on his bike ride around the world to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. Last night it was quiet in the office and I stood waiting for the printer to finish, looking at the photos of waterfalls, interesting animals he saw on the road, and dinners with his partner. It all looked incredible, but I […]

Exercise & Women’s Mental Health: Tips for Achieving Your Health Behavior Goals

By: Dr. Joti Samra, R. Psych. Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych., is a clinical psychologist and organizational and media consultant. She is the host of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Million Dollar Neighbourhood” and was the psychological consultant to CITY-TV’s “The Bachelor Canada”. She has also served as a psychological consultant and expert to a number of other TV shows and news outlets. Dr. Samra maintains a clinical practice in Vancouver. Her website is www.drjotisamra.com and she can be followed @drjotisamra. Exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Sounds easy enough, right? Then why do most of us struggle with sticking to […]