Blogger shares story of mental illness

GRACE AMANDA

Raising Money for Mental Health #OneBraveNight

MARCH 19, 2017
Many people who know me are aware that raising awareness about mental health issues is incredibly important to me. As a society, we are slowly becoming more aware of mental illness and its effects on people, but I feel like we are not yet at the point of complete understanding and acceptance, at least not to the same extent as we are with physical or visible illnesses. It’s saddening, because our mental health is just as important as our physical health, if not more so.

I’ve talked a bit on this blog about my own history with mental illness, and as someone who has suffered from mental health issues for years and continues to deal with them on a regular basis, it’s important to me that I do my part in sharing my story. When I was younger and didn’t understand the magnitude of mental illness, I couldn’t fully comprehend what I was going though, and I certainly didn’t have the words to describe what exactly I was feeling. Reading other people’s stories about their own experiences was humbling and enlightening, and not only did it help me come to terms with my own personal experiences, but it helped me feel less alone. It is because of the bravery of these people around the world who were willing to share their stories that I’ve been making an effort to be more open about my history, and why I want to continue writing about mental health issues on my blog. If I can help foster greater understanding or help someone else feel less alone, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

But what if I could do more?

Earlier this week, I discovered the CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health™ Challenge. CAMH, also known as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation, is a Canadian hospital and foundation that has issued a challenge for people all across Canada to help raise money for mental health issues. The way that the challenge works is that you can create a team of people or sign up as an individual and campaign to raise a certain amount of money for mental health by April 7, 2017. This is the third year CAMH issued this challenge, and in the past two years, they raised over $1.5 million dollars which went toward publishing articles about their research, testing out new treatment options, providing access to mental health services in more remote areas, and more. You can read more about it here on their website.

Learning about this campaign to raise money toward helping people across Canada who are struggling with mental health issues really hit home for me. It is a personal issue, as I and a number of my friends and family members have struggled with mental illness in the past or are currently struggling, but it is also a social issue. Despite the fact that I’ve dealt with a lot over the years, I consider myself to be lucky. I’m lucky that I have access to therapy and medication, and that I have an amazing support system. And I know that during the darkest periods of my life, if I didn’t have the help and support of mental health professionals and my family and friends, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

So, I’ve decided to sign up and join the challenge, and I’ve made it my personal goal to help raise $300 for the CAMH #OneBraveNight challenge by April 7, 2017. I want to help raise money for CAMH in the hopes of helping other people who aren’t as lucky as I am. I want to help the people who don’t have access to therapy or medication or treatment that works for them, or don’t have the support and understanding and love from people in their lives. But this is where I need your help.

Unfortunately, I am not able to come up with $300 for CAMH on my own. I’ve made a personal donation of $100, meaning that I’ve reached one third of my goal. So, to anyone reading this, I would love your help and support on this. I would love to be able to complete my goal of raising $300 for the #OneBraveNight challenge by April 7, which leaves us with just over two weeks to raise the money. If any of you are able to donate to my campaign, I would appreciate it greatly. Even a donation of $5 can help make a difference, but if you aren’t able to donate, I would love it if you could share the link to this blog post in case anyone you know is interested in helping out.

The link to my personal #OneBraveNight page can be found here. This is also where you can make a donation to my campaign if you so choose.

http://give.camh.ca/site/TR?px=1124896&fr_id=1090&pg=personal

Thanks for reading, and if you are able to help me out in raising money for mental health in any way, thank you so much.

(As of March 20, 2017, Amanda has raised over $560!)