Reaching the summit of a mountain often requires more mental fortitude than physical. We are often very quick to judge people who we believe to have the capacity for this mental resilience as heroes; often by their accolades and designations. However, I have found this heuristic to be untrue. For the past 18 months, we have been researching functional recovery methods for people with mental illness in the community. By joining in this project, I have learned more from the stories, hardships, and experiences of my participants than any psychiatric textbook:
I have learned that people don’t like to assimilate, but rather wish to be uniquely accepted.
I have learned that no matter how old or experienced you are, you can always have your worldview re-evaluated if you care to listen.
I have learned that much of our systems are constructed for those we choose to accommodate and there is a lot of rewiring that needs to be done in order to provide true equity of care
Lastly, I have learned that just because a mountain doesn’t exist in plain sight, does not mean someone is not currently climbing one.
Addictions and Mental Health Services, Kingston (AMHS-KFLA) have been an instrumental partner to the efforts of my studies and I would like to invite you to aid their efforts in mitigating the stigma of mental illness. This complex, multi-dimensional issue may seem daunting to climb over, but after experiencing the optimistic work ethic of my co-facilitators, participants, and mentors, I am confident we will climb this mountain together as well. All proceeds from the fund will go to empowering community members with mental illness in climbing their own (far greater) mountain!
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