Today is National Non Profit Day! (August 17 2023)
I could do a shout out to so many wonderful non profits helping to make this world we live in a more beautiful place but today I want to talk about the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
I'm sure you can think of someone you know that has been affected by mental health issues. Maybe it's your friend, brother, cousin, mom or maybe even you. Mental health issues are very common in today's society with everything that goes on in our world and personal lives.
We have made enormous strides in recognizing and normalizing it. I still think more needs to be done to make it so everyone feels comfortable speaking about getting help without shame or embarrassment.
All my life I have suffered from anxiety. Many years ago when my dogs past away (1 year apart) my anxiety began to rise. I was then diagnosed with (non contagious) incurable skin disease making my anxiety spike up and then covid hit. I was a mess emotionally. I had trouble concentrating and I would experience what I call, nervous shakes or jitters for half the day and feel sick to my stomach. I tried many tips and tricks that I read online but to no avail. I finally decided to contact my doctor because I knew I needed help, my anxiety was affecting all aspects of my life.
Enter Bounce Back.
The doctor introduced me to a completely free program funded by CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) called Bounce Back. It's a program that helps you to work through whatever mental or emotional stress you may be experiencing through a series of workbooks and counselling phone calls.
Now I know it may not sound like much but it was a HUGE help. I will be honest and tell you at that I was also put on a medication to help raise my serotonin levels which helped with the jitters and the anxiety induced nausea. But the Bounce Back program helped me learn to deal with my anxious thoughts and how to help stop them from happening.
I won't lie and say it was super easy and that all of my anxiety is gone. It still rears its ugly head every now and then but now I feel confident in my ability to handle my anxious thoughts and work through them. Over time I have noticed that I am much more frequently and easily identifying unhelpful thoughts and dismissing them with ease. If something more substantial arrises then I have a few tools to work through the emotions that come with it.
Like all good things gaining and maintaining good mental health takes effort. And maybe the bounce back program won't be the right fit for you but I urge anyone that is affected by mental health issues to please ask for help. Through programs like CMAH you can find what fits best and works for you and your life.
And always remember you are not alone, many have been where you are and through the generosity and kindness of others have found help.
You don't have to suffer in silence, there's help if you just reach for it.