Early in 2016, friends and coworkers Vasiliki Marapas and Meghan Yuri Young were both going through difficult breakups. “I was such a mess,” says Marapas. “I was going into the office every day and crying at my desk.” At the same time, Yuri Young was trying to come to terms with the end of her marriage and found it difficult to get out of bed each morning. Though both women were dealing with “mental health roadblocks,” neither felt it was okay to admit they were struggling.
They banded together and, on April 1, launched a blog, Facebook page and Instagram account, The Sad Collective, with the tagline “We’re all in this together.” Their hope is to raise awareness for mental health and make it acceptable and comfortable for anyone to talk about their issues, no matter where they fall on the mental health spectrum. This year, they’ve partnered with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to promote One Brave Night, a fundraiser that aims to inspire hope for the one in five Canadians living with mental illness.
Want to do your part? Check out these 10 myths and make sure you don’t perpetuate them.
1: Mental health only affects certain people.
While mental illness may only directly impact a number of people, everyone has been affected by stress, change, negative thought patterns and any other number of factors. “It’s important to realize there’s a spectrum,” says Marapas. “There’s everyday mental health. There’s the grief, loss and heartbreak part of the spectrum—which is where Meghan and I fit in. Then there are also a variety of mental illnesses.”