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It can be challenging to talk about mental health with friends and loved ones, as there is often a fear of being judged or misunderstood. In this post, I will share five tips for starting a conversation with your friend about their mental health.

Who doesn’t love summer? Longer sunny days, outdoor activities, cottaging and camping, sports, social events, and relaxing and enjoying life. And for students, no homework. What could be better?

Choose a topic: Before you start writing, choose a topic that interests you. Research popular topics and see what other bloggers write about. Hint: health, wellness and mental health are popular topics.

As a parent, it's common to experience stress, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed at times.  But these challenges can get amplified for parents also managing a mental illness. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder before the birth of my children. I walked into parenthood knowing it would be just a little different than the experiences of some of my peers.   

There are a variety of forms that peer support can take – informal or formal, group-based, or one-on-one, in-person or virtual  – but if you are interested in taking the first steps the internet is the place to start.  Remember that you are not alone, and you, too, will find your people.  You just have to look for them.

I had admitted something was off. I received the referral, got the appointment, and did the screening questionnaires and interviews, which led to a diagnosis. I finally had a reason for why my mood yo-yoed up and down over the years. I had an explanation for the high episodes and deep depressions that cycled almost like clockwork. I had a name to apply to what I had been experiencing since my teens – Bipolar Type 2. It also meant I could receive proper treatment and medication so I would no longer have to live that way. Such relief!

If you’ve ever seen a news article about mental health and mental illness, you can probably still picture the stock photo that went along with it. You don’t even need a link from me to refresh your memory. Someone is sitting alone in the dark. Maybe with their head in their hands. Maybe peering out a window at the rain. You know the photo.

Discover the voices of lived experience and get access to resources, information, tips, and tools to support your mental health.  

It seems I’m always trying to forge belonging, or fielding a gulf between myself and the community I grew up with. I feel deeply disconnected from my childhood friends and peers, cultural background, and family. My home base. My roots.