January 31st is #BellLetsTalkDay , it is an incredibly important day because it helps raise awareness around mental health in Canada and fight the stigma around mental health issues. It is safe to say that even though mental healh affects everyone differently, it has touched all of our lives in one way or another. Mental health matters to Alpha Pi Phi, and this is why:
"Self-love doesn’t always mean doing something extravagant.. sometimes self-care can be taking a shower for the first time in days, or eating your first meal of the day at 8pm, or simply getting out of bed. Little successes are just as important as the big ones. You can’t help others before helping yourself, so take some time to practice some self-care and self-love, because you are so worth it." #WhyMentalHealthMatters
- Zoe Lever, Mu Class
"I think mental health is important, as what is going on in your mind and in your heart, affects your actions. To be physically able to get out of bed you need to be mentally prepared to take on your day. I am fortunate enough to have not dealt with mental health issues, which is why I have an open mind and open arms to any of my friends who need love and encouragement."
- Kennedy Loupelle, Nu Class
"There is a stigma surrounding mental health that places less of an importance on it than physical health. When the world realizes that these two are quintessential to our overall performance and wellbeing, maybe then we will have the ability to ask for help. This campaign is important because it is helping to give a voice to those who don't have the courage to help themselves just yet. #WhyMentalHealthMatters"
- Hailey Climenhange, Nu Class
"Mental health matters because nobody deserves to suffer in silence. 1/5 people in Canada will struggle with a mental illness, it is important that we recognize this so people know they are not alone and have nothing to be ashamed of."
- Lydia Klotz, Omicron Class
"Mental health is so important because it affects all areas of your life. It can affect not only how you feel, think, and communicate, but also how you react to situations and your relationships with others. It’s important to always make yourself a priority and take time to do things you enjoy or find relaxing because you can’t pour from an empty cup."
- Rielly Riggs, Lambda Class
"Mental Health Matters because my best friend Tanner felt like he had no other option, and everyone should know they do"
- Caitlyn McCauley, Xi Class
"Mental health matters because nobody should have to face their dark days alone, we are stronger than that"
- Brooke Lynn Burke, Omicron Class
"Why Mental Health Matters: Mental health matters because people shouldn't have to go through something that affects them so badly and to such a great extent without someone to help them through it. Mental health matters because it affects almost everyone, directly or indirectly. Mental health matters because I want to feel good in my own skin without being tarnished by my own thoughts or someone else's."
- Jillian Robinson, Nu Class
"Mental Health matters because it affects so many people around me. It is something that affects the everyday lives of the people that I love and I want to educate myself on it so I can be there to support them and help anyone who is struggling."
- Daniela Ochoa, Omicron Class
"You know when you're in a bad dream and you're trying to run, punch, kick or scream and your body just won't move? You open your mouth and nothing comes out. You feel frozen or in slow motion, and no matter how hard you try and fight it, nothing changes. That's how it feels to battle mental illness. How you feel isn't how you see yourself. Your struggle is apart of your story."
- Antaya Burri, Nu Class
"Mental Health Matters because without taking care of yourself first you cannot care for anyone else. Listening to your mind and what you need is the most important thing for everyone to do. Being aware of how important mental health is, is critical to understanding each other and supporting others."
- Morgan Leet, Omicron Class
"Mental Health matters because it means understanding and helping those who may be going through a hard time and doing your best to try and help them through their ups and downs."
- Paige Cooper, Pi Class
"To me, mental health means creating a safe environment for people to feel comfortable enough to be honest with you about what they’re going through. For our peers battling mental health, we also have to take it upon ourselves to fight the social stigma around it today and every day."
- Ilse Mendoza, Mu Class
"Mental health is always something I preached that we all take care of, but I personally have never thought it was something I would ever deal with. I often thought to myself every now and then what was wrong with me, and looking back now from those dark times, I realized, nothing. There is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with the way I feel. What you feel is valid whether you are able to express it or not. Mental illness is never a choice, and you will never be alone."
- Brigette Aguilar, Nu Class
"When I was only 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder. I only confided in a couple of people outside of my immediate family what I was going through. At that time, no one really understood what having anxiety meant, including myself. There was a lot more stigma surrounding that diagnosis, so I was ashamed to talk about it. I didn’t really understand what was happening to my body physically or mentally, and it took me a really long time to learn that having a mental illness was okay. Fast forward to this past fall, when my mental health took a sharp downturn. I had no motivation, it became very hard to leave the house, and I felt nothing… I felt empty. Not knowing what to do, I went to a doctor, who then diagnosed me with depression on top of my anxiety. I have since been taking medication to help me sleep, having doctor’s and counselling appointments every couple of weeks, and have been working on improving my eating and workout habits. To me, admitting that there was something very wrong, that I wasn’t really as okay as I made it seem, was the first step in working towards mental wellbeing. Every day now, I wake up and make a choice to not let myself be consumed by what’s going on in my head, to fight. Some days, it’s really hard and it feels like I’m never going to feel better. Even now I struggle with feelings of shame and guilt when I feel overwhelmed or don’t have the motivation to achieve everyday tasks. But I am learning too to appreciate the good days, to cut myself some slack and understand that I can’t be okay all the time. I am learning to say no to things and people that don’t contribute to my happiness, and to say yes to myself. I’m no longer ashamed to admit what I’m going through. I cannot stress the importance of self care. It took me a really long time to make that a priority for myself, but it’s amazing how a little self-love can go such a long way. Surround yourself with people who support you in your struggle and in your recovery, and who love you unconditionally. Get yourself a gym buddy who’ll motivate you to leave your bed. Take a nice long bath and listen to your favourite songs. Make your favourite foods. Go to bed early. Put yourself first for once. Spend time with the people who lift you up, who truly matter. I can’t promise every day will be a good day, or even an okay one, but I can promise that you’ll never be alone."
- Rachel Deschamps, Kappa Class
If you are feeling down or going through a hard time, remember that there are people that love you and will want to be there for you. There are also many resources available:
Mental Health Helpline Ontario : 1-866-531-2600