Stories Shatter Stigma

  While we are certainly moving in the right direction with mental health, stigma remains evident in our places of work and communities. Learning about various mental health issues from a book or a workshop is a great start, but do you know what’s even better? Hearing someone’s story. The number one way to remove stigma is by sharing our stories.   Many of us are good at wearing a mask and pretending that we have it all together. I get it. It’s difficult to be vulnerable and share our inner battles with those around us. However, this is an…

My Journey Towards Wellness

As a kid, I never grew up hoping to one day struggle with mental illness or become an addict. Who knew that these were the lessons I needed to learn to be in a position to help others with their mental health. My challenges with mental illness began at the age of 14 with body dysmorphic disorder. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for the next 13 years without complete disgust. I had no idea how to talk about my pain so I just kept it all inside. What’s crazy is that I was the kid who was…

A Male Teacher Speaks Openly About Mental Illness

Few males can be found teaching elementary school, and even fewer of these speak openly about their challenges with mental health. Meet my best friend, James Siemens. Living in a small prairie town makes it even more difficult to speak about mental illness. While James often felt alone in his battles, he quickly learned that by being vulnerable and sharing his story, there were others in hiding. That right there is why we made this book. It’s time to talk alright.  

4 Lessons Learned from Suicide

Silence is not the answer. It’s time to talk openly about suicide.   I have spent the last few months traveling to several communities to discuss this prevalent issue of suicide, and I wanted to share a few of the lessons I have learned. 1. Ask the tough question, “Are you feeling suicidal?” Pay attention to the guts. If you think there is a problem then there probably is. At that point it is important to ask this difficult question. Yet, I think we fear asking the question because we fear the response. What happens if the person you care about…

The Power of Your Story

  There is nothing more powerful, or as sacred as your story.  Have you ever shared your story? If not, what’s holding you back? For me, it was fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being vulnerable. That list could go on and on. But then I took a risk, and what I soon saw unfold in front of me became greater than anything I could ever have imagined. If you have a moment, please watch the video above. I would love to hear if you can relate. Keep talking my friends. There is no greater tool than your voice.

Rewriting the Scripts of Men and Mental Health

My travels recently took me to a small rural community. Here, I was asked to deliver a motivational message to the countless volunteers who tirelessly gave their time to assist others. I was welcomed with open arms and embraced with the warm hospitality that only a small tight-knit community can offer. In my message I made a point of saying that as volunteers, it is essential to also take care of their own needs. I spoke briefly about my own challenges with mental health, and stated that it was not a weakness to ask for help in times of need.…