My name is Maya*. A few years ago, I was not doing well. In fact, I was in the worst place I had ever been mentally. I was on disability after having to quit my job because my bipolar disorder was completely out of control. I was in a deep depression, barely left my house, didn’t really interact with anyone, and, to make matters worse, found myself in a relationship that was getting increasingly toxic. I was frightened and in despair … and felt I had nowhere to turn. (* Name changed)
“Maya’s” story is one of thousands in our community. On any given day in Saskatoon, 1 in 5 people in our community experience a serious mental health issue. Perhaps it is someone you hold dear – your family members, your friends, your neighbours. Perhaps it is you!
You can do something to help! Please support people in Saskatoon and area during this season of caring and sharing with the gift of mental health by donating to CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Saskatoon. You have shown your caring spirit in the past, so please give generously today.
We all have good and bad days. And we all experience intense changes in our mood and outlook on life – I know I do. Some days you might feel strong, energetic and full of ideas. Some days you may find yourself irritable and angry. And other times, you feel sad, tearful, or “blue”. But these moods usually don’t last long, and, in time, you can go about your daily routine. For people like Maya, however, who live daily with a diagnosed mental illness like bipolar disorder, it is not that simple.
Many people blame themselves for their condition or wonder why they can’t just ‘get over it.’ Some feel like they just have to live with or even hide their struggle because they worry about what others will think. And then the symptoms of their condition can make it even harder to seek out solutions.
Depression and bipolar disorder are real illnesses, and people living with these illnesses deserve care and support – People can and do recover!
One day, my psychiatrist told me about the CMHA Saskatoon Life Skills Program … and I decided to give it a try. Applying to the program was really tough – filling out that form was extremely hard as I hated admitting to anyone that I needed help. But I got an interview, and I was accepted! That was the beginning of a new life for me.
You can ensure CMHA Saskatoon is here to provide more care and support by donating today! YOU can be the reason someone like Maya finds success on her journey toward recovery and better mental health!
CMHA Saskatoon is here to help … really help … when people need us, providing information, resources and referrals, one-on-one counselling with no time limit, education and training, vocational and job-readiness assistance, as well as innovative programs and services that support people where they are on their unique mental health journeys.
Everyone deserves respect and to be included in our community whatever their mental health experience. Mental illness is not anyone’s choice, and recovery is possible with appropriate treatment and supports. The more we work together to create those supports, the better the positive outcomes for people.
Getting up each day to go to the group was daunting! There were times I didn’t want to, times when everything wrong with my brain was screaming for me to stop. But I went. The things we learned … how to treat ourselves … how to recognize our anxiety and stress. Even the letter I wrote to myself that first day. It all clicked in a way nothing had before.
Over time, Maya’s mental health, her resilience, and her sense of self-worth improved. Eventually, Maya started thinking seriously about going back to work. She remembers how hard CMHA Saskatoon staff worked to help her find a job that she liked and a good fit. Most importantly, she found a workplace that “accepted me for who I was, where I was.”
With the support of CMHA Saskatoon, Maya found the strength to work on her mental health, learned about how to get back on track, and bravely “try things that before the program I hadn’t thought possible. THANK YOU! With the right medication, the right support and learning the right skills … my mental illness no longer controls my life.”
Maya knows that if she ever needs support in the future, CMHA will be there for her. But we can’t do it without you!
In 2019 alone, more than 5000 people attended a training session. Thousands more called or came to us for information, referrals, and resources. But the needs in our community are great, increasing every year, the challenges are complex, and, without effective ongoing supports, the outcomes for people can be dire.
Far too many people do not receive the support they need; far too many suffer in silence because of stigma, fear, and embarrassment. Without immediate support and often treatment, people can feel isolated and worthless. And the results can be devastating: Saskatchewan has second highest suicide rates in the country!
People battling to reclaim their lives won’t ask you for help – but we can ask on their behalf.
You can make the difference! Join our community of support today through your generous donation. Please provide the gift of mental health for all this Holiday Season and in the New Year. Please give generously!
Faith Bodnar, Executive Director
The Holiday Season is a time of joy for so many, but not for everyone! In fact, this time of year can be hardest on people living with challenging mental health issues. You can make this Holiday Season and New Year a brighter one for people who need our support. Click on the link below to donate.