For Bell Let’s Talk day, as many of you know, the Advisory Committee ran a booth with speech bubbles to promote positive mental health and share words of support. Bell Let’s Talk Day is a significant day to me. I have struggled with my mental health for many years now, and oftentimes only the closest to me know. This time around, I thought I would change that and step outside of my comfort zone.
Last semester, I struggled with suicidal thoughts – it seemed that was all that occupied my mind. I let my best friend know, however their lack of care and support made things worse. I sunk deeper and deeper into my depression until I felt like there was no way out. However, with the help of a new course of anti-depressants and help from one of the counselors with UOIT Mental Health Services, I am in a much better place than I was.
I was making considerable progress until the middle of December, when I had a personal crisis and, at 1:00 AM, was the closest to suicide I had ever been. I had distanced myself from the best friend that didn’t care, and moved closer towards another friend. I called her, and she was able to talk me off the – metaphorical – ledge and calm me down.
Then, for Bell Let’s Talk Day, I finally opened up to everyone around me. On one of the speech bubbles, still displayed well into mid-February, I wrote about my suicidal ideation and the fact that I needed to reach out to help. I wrote my name and my faculty on the bubble, not that it mattered because I have a unique name and my campus is entirely for my faculty. But I did it. I put it out to the world that I am NOT perfect, and that I have struggles as well, as much as I like to put out to the world that I don’t.
Since then, I’ve had a couple people come up to me and talk to me, ask me if I was okay, and just offer their support. It’s really hard to talk about suicide, especially when you feel like those around you don’t care. And it’s even harder when you’re supposed to be someone who has their life together. But even us on the Advisory Committee aren’t perfect, and we all have our fears and reluctance to share our vulnerabilities. Sometimes though, you’ll find that opening up opens doors to so many more support networks and people who can help you.