Mental Health And Covid-19

Recently I’ve received several notifications that my “STATS” are “booming” on my WordPress (blog) site YouAreEnough ( The last time I had such a huge spike in stats like this was on Christmas Day and although I have a great sense of pride knowing that people are reading my posts and hopefully finding some comfort in them, I also know that many more are finding my posts because they may be feeling more vulnerable than usual or overwhelmed due to our current world crisis. 

Today on the news it was reported that there has been an increase of more than 40% of people suffering with Mental Health challenges in Canada over the last month especially anxiety related. That is some super scary and super alarming statistics but not surprising at all.  For most of society we are living in unprecedented times and not only facing a super scary and super alarming economical downfall but a super psychological one as well.

Being forced into quarantine has no doubt caused a wide range of psychological fear and worry for even the most seemingly high functioning members of society. If nothing else, being in lockdown can cause an individual to have low mood swings or irritability for sure but mix in some insomnia with a dose of physical exhaustion, anger, anxiety and depression and suddenly you have a whole different crisis on hand.

I am surprisingly quite calm when it comes to the fear that I myself or a loved one will contract the virus itself so for me and many others the increase in psychological issues stem mainly from the uncertainty that lies ahead and when we will begin to resume our daily life again and more importantly; How?  For many individuals it’s also not having their regular support systems nearby whether it’s support from a loved one or being able to go to their office every day or maybe for others it’s not having access to places like the public library or the school yard where they feel most safe.

But whatever the reasons are that are causing a surge in Mental Health issues right now just remember that you are not alone. I encourage you to reach out to someone you feel comfortable talking to whether it’s a mental health professional or a trusted confidant or someone who understands what you are feeling and while you’re at it, make sure you are getting fresh air everyday if you can and try keeping to as regular a routine as possible however that may look.

#covid19 #pandemic #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #stats #youareenough #noshame #startaconversation #youarenotalone #dontsufferinsilence #mentalillness #depression #family #anxiety #masksoff #checkonyourlovedones #togetherapart #stayhome #flattenthecurve #physicaldistance

Late Night Radio

I just finished pre recording a segment for tonight’s radio show The Late Shift with Jason Agnew on 1010 talk radio. It’s been a while since I have done an interview or given a talk as so many recent and upcoming events I had scheduled were cancelled.

I know there are so many people who are suffering right now with Depression and Anxiety and that many turn to the comfort of late night talk radio. If I can help just one person listening tonight feel less afraid or less alone it will warm my heart.

If you can’t sleep tonight tune in around 3am. It’s broadcast throughout Canada.

Please continue to follow my journey at and do not hesitate to reach out to me if you ever need someone to listen. Xoxo

#iheartradio #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #covid19 #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youmatter #bellmedia #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #bellletstalk #wecanallmakeadifference #checkonyourlovedones #togetherapart #stayhome #flattenthecurve

A Crafty Kinda Day

I hope you can tell from the picture (it’s a glass frame so you may have to zoom in to get the full effect) that the central focus inside the frame is a semicolon with positive affirmations encompassing it. The semicolon has been a huge part of my story for several years now and I have shown my support to the Project Semicolon Movement for close to 4 years now. For those of you who don’t know, Project Semicolon is a “nonprofit organization known for its advocacy of mental health wellness and its focus as an anti-suicide initiative. Founded in 2013, the movement’s aim is presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression,suicide, addiction, and self-injury. They are known for encouraging people to tattoo the punctuation mark semicolon (;) as a form of solidarity between people dealing with mental illness or the death of someone from suicide”, which is what I did in July 2016 (see photo).

I’ve been struggling a lot over the past week and I figured I could use some inspiration today so I made it a “crafty” kind of day. It’s ok to not be ok, it’s ok to talk about the hard days and it’s more than ok to tell someone you’re struggling because we all deserve to feel hope, we all deserve to feel worthy and we all deserve to feel like our story isn’t over yet; 

My tattoo on my left shoulder

You see, a semicolon is not just any ole punctuation mark that an author would use to end a sentence, it instead indicates a brief pause, and for me that brief pause is a symbol of my life and the need to catch my breath in order to continue the rest of my story. We are all authors to our own stories and it’s ok if you need to take a pause between sentences. 

#selfcare #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #semicolon #projectsemicolon #youareenough #breathe #pause #keepgoing #youmatter #crafts #yourstoryisntoveryet #tattoo #chai #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #blogger #author #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca 

The Morning Show

The last few months have felt like a dream come true and today was the icing on the cake! Thank you for having me on this morning to share my story @morningshowca @globalnewsto @carolynglobal @jmacspeaks #amomentlikethis #parentingplaybook #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #startaconversation

No-one Is Immune

Last night news spread very quickly over many mental health related newsfeeds about a young man named Jarrid Wilson, just 30 years old who had taken his own life. He was married with 2 young children, he was an author and co-founder of a non profit organization called Anthem of Hope. He was a mental health advocate, a devout Christian and a very well known Pastor who gave “hope for those battling brokenness, depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction, and suicide” even while he was battling his own depression and anxiety; something he spoke very open and honestly about.
As soon as I read the news my jaw just about dropped to the floor because he was somewhat of a celebrity to me and to anyone else who is as obsessed as I am with the TLC reality show “Outdaughtered”. Even if you are just a little bit obsessed with the show then you should know exactly who he was (and if you don’t know the show then you seriously don’t know what you are missing; The cutest quintuplets around!). New season starts October 1st.
A couple of seasons ago Jarrid and his family were featured in several episodes when the dad of the quints; Adam Busby was diagnosed with post-partum depression (yes it exists in men too!) and sought out Pastor Jarrid for some counselling. I watched those episodes a little differently than most other episodes because I felt the dad’s pain and so much of what Pastor Jarrid said to him at the time resonated so much with me.
I didn’t know at the time those episodes aired that the Pastor was battling with his own mental health issues and that much of what he said during their sessions together came from a place of understanding and compassion and knowing both of them were very devout Christian’s, God played a big part in both of their journeys. And kudos to TLC for tackling such a stigmatized topic, especially for men.
I am certain that many of you are probably asking yourselves today how a person who devoted his entire life to helping others battle depression, who wrote books about hope, who co-founded a non profit organization supporting others with depression and who devoted his entire life to God could lose his battle with depression himself. Well the senior Pastor at his church in California summed it up perfectly. Greg Laurie stated in an interview yesterday that “Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people, we are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.”
Those words ring true for any person who suffers with depression and understands that no one, no matter what your socio-economical background is or your religious beliefs are, nobody is immune to mental illness which is why I can see so many parallels between my own journey and Jarrid’s journey too.
I may not pray or look toward God for guidance but like Jarrid I experience pain each and every day and like Jarrid I have made it my mission to advocate for change and end the stigma surrounding mental illness by being that voice. And like Jarrid I have made it my mission to help as many people as I can get the help they need and give other people hope. And like Jarrid I have made it my mission to let others know that it’s okay not to be okay. Hey and lets not forget that like Jarrid I too can now call myself an author!
I know it’s so difficult to understand how someone like myself or Jarrid can do all those things yet still not be able to practice what we preach because it’s no secret that it’s often so much easier to see the beauty in others and not in our own selves. And although suicide took his life “Suicide will not get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said, “Hope gets the last word (A quote from his wife). And I’m pretty sure she will make it her mission now to ensure that hope lives on in all of us battling this deadly disease.
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


I think it’s probably safe to say that at some point in your life you have felt loneliness, or maybe you have felt like a failure, or maybe you have felt helpless or maybe even worthless. It might’ve only been for a day or a week or for many like myself, it might’ve been for years but no matter the length of time it probably felt like an eternity.
Today is September 10th and today is World Suicide Prevention Day which is a day solely dedicated to raising awareness and prevention of suicidal behaviors worldwide.
The World Health Organization (WHO) joins forces each year with The International Association For Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Federation For Mental Health (WFMH) to provide this forum for mental health professionals, crisis teams, suicide survivors and anyone else who has been affected by suicide with special activities and events being held all over the world.
Yes you may be reading my mind because of course it will take way more than just one day a year for change to come about but by recognizing it and talking about it is a stepping stone to starting important and necessary conversations everywhere and no matter what that is the goal of today.
That was the same goal of one such movement I recently came across (well maybe like 6 mths ago if we’re gonna get technical) which began about 2 years ago in Oregon and truly defines what one important and necessary conversation can do to help save lives.
Imagine for a moment that day or that week or those years that you felt loneliness or like a failure or helpless or maybe even worthless. Now imagine yourself for a moment, riding home from work after a long day and you’re feeling worthless or think about a child who arrives at school one morning who feels lonely and suddenly in front of you there is a “sign”.
#dontgiveupsigns is a movement which began as I mentioned above in Oregon by one family who upon learning that the suicide rate in their community was rapidly rising, they decided right then and there that they needed to be a part of the solution by spreading love and hope. So as a family they began knocking on strangers doors asking if they would be willing to place a sign on their front lawn for a couple of weeks. And before they knew it their simple act of kindness was becoming an international phenomenon.
Their signs read messages of hope and encouragement like “you matter”, “you are not alone”, ” it’s not too late”, “don’t give up”, “you are worthy of love” and more. In 2 short years their signs (and now stickers, bracelets and pins too) have made their way to 27 countries and in 6 different languages and they aren’t slowing down.
They are now a non profit organization committed to helping others who may be feeling lonely or like a failure or helpless or maybe even worthless. They started a conversation and now they are paying it forward.
So what if it was you in that car driving home from work that day feeling worthless or what if it was your child who arrives at school every day feeling lonely and right there at the right time and in the right place they saw a “sign”? You just never know how a simple act of kindness may change someone else’s whole world forever.
Please go to or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to learn more. I know how much I’d love to see these signs popping up in my own community. Who’s with me?
@dontgiveupmovement @who
#wordsmatter #youmatter #startaconversation
#dontsufferinsilence #yourmentalhealthmatters #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #dailyreminder #itsoktonotbeok #suicide #endthestigmatogether #bekindtoyourself #selfcare #youareenough #choosekindness

Starting Conversations

Taking a much needed break today on the water, spending time with good friends and some new friends too. Swimming, eating, drinking and chillaxing with a good book. This picture makes my heart so full. Important conversations are happening everywhere! #mentalwellness #selfcare #startaconversation #depression #moms #kidsmentalhealthmatters #youarenotalone #youmatter #itsoktonotbeok #bepresent #endthestigmatogether #wheredidmommyssmilego #summerofrich

Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?

Moms Mental Health Initiative is a dedicated non profit organization which help moms (and dads) navigate through one of the most vulnerable stages of life. Postpartum depression is a very real and very serious illness and can affect as many as 1 in every 7 women following the birth of their child often stemming from a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood and fatigue. Moms Mental Health Initiative has so kindly shared my book with their community as a helpful tool or resource for families affected by postpartum depression. They offer a lot of helpful information, connect moms with many great resources and provide wonderful peer-driven support. You can reach them at: or follow them on their Facebook page if you or someone you love is in need of help.

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