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GINTA – It’s high time we end the mental health stigma

(Image: CFJC)

IT’S ALMOST A YEAR since I encountered human pain in a way that I never thought I would and there is rarely a day I do not think of it, more so because it happened in the place I go for mornings hikes with the dog.

A young person had decided to end their life and that grey, cloudy morning was draped in heartbreaking, haunting silence. It is impossible to imagine the mental pain of making that decision, and impossible to imagine the pain of loved ones left behind.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t an isolated incident. A couple of months later, a second makeshift memorial appeared in the park underneath the bridge. There are flowers and messages appearing regularly; the pain is present every second of every day. The air is heavy as you walk by. Two of so many.

In the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) recently released report on suicide prevention, suicide was deemed one of the top 10 causes of death in Canada. Among people between 15 and 24, suicide is the second leading cause of death after car accidents. Male suicide accounts for 70 percent among youth 15 to 19 years old.

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Daniela Ginta is a mother, scientist, writer and blogger. She can be reached at daniela.ginta@gmail.com, or through her blog at http://www.danielaginta.com.

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About Mel Rothenburger (6390 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on GINTA – It’s high time we end the mental health stigma

  1. Thirty years ago, I had sat in my truck staring at the Thompson River, near Juniper Beach, for more than an hour. Before that, I had driven, mechanically, alongside the flood-swollen Deadman River, trying to find a place to plunge my truck into the depths – a place where it would appear to be accidental. I had failed at that. It seemed I had not slept for days. My mind was filled with dull pain. Then someone tapped on my window, I never really saw the man. He asked, “Are you alright?” “I’m fine” I replied, ‘I just need to sleep.” “No,” he shot back “Are you really all right?” I did not speak further with him, but those few words changed my life. They were trans-formative in ways I cannot explain, even today. I knew then that that I wanted to get well. With the help of my doctor and family I did. A bystanders words, his concern, changed my life. This all followed my return to the institution in Calgary, where I had been raised as an orphan boy. Subsequently, I had fallen into clinical depression and so nearly fell off the earth. The lesson, notice even a stranger’s pain and reach out in some way to touch them. There is inexplicable power in caring for others.

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