For the past 7 summers I have worked at the Canadian National Exhibition, 3 of which I have been a supervisor. This is definitely my favourite time of the year because it is the one job that although it can be very stressful, gives me the most peace. Seeing all the happy guests and helping make those guests happy gives me a joy that I don’t normally feel in my daily life.
This year was the same, if not better than the rest, but right from the start I was presented with a challenge I never thought would happen. On one of my staffs first day she expressed to me that she was having some issues with her mental health and she didn’t know where to turn to besides Google (which we all know is just a disaster waiting to happen). I asked her if she had thought about seeking professional advice but she felt as though no one would get it, that people wouldn’t believe how she feels which is something I completely understand and can relate to so I didn’t push further. And although I did not know much about body dysmorphia, I knew that I had to try and help her in any way that I could.
For the next week or so I began going onto UOIT’s library website and printing out credible articles on the subject (which I totally recommend for those who are starting out their journey to recovery). Then on my travels to and from work, I read and highlighted parts I found important before handing it all over to her in a little package. Of course as a psychology student it was incredibly interesting to read and very helpful in understanding what the disorder entailed, but nothing was more exciting than the look of relief/appreciation on her face.
I can’t say what changed her mind, maybe it was the information I gave her, maybe it was the fact that I was so understanding to how she felt, or maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with me, but she is now considering going to speak to someone professionally. Putting your faith into a professionals hands can definitely be intimidating, especially for those of us who are tormented by our thoughts and don’t want others to know that side of us. But even if you don’t continue to see someone, I strongly urge you to at least make one visit, take the chance because it may not help (therapy really isn’t for everyone), but it may do incredible things for your mental health.
I think the point of me sharing this is that if someone comes to you with a mental health issue DO NOT turn away because it took so much courage for them to confide in you. A small gesture really does go a long way and even if you don’t know what to do you could end up really impacting someone’s life and in turn they may impact yours for the better.
** It’s been a rough 6 months for me so this post is a little short- more of a way for me to get back into writing!