Lex Barrie


The snow falls faintly to the cold ground below as Inspector Gadget plays on the T.V. I worked hard on my portfolio for OCAD today, drawing and organizing my pieces into a sketchbook. I am unsure of the effect it will have at this point but I would like nothing more than to get into this school and show what I can do. 

I have had my share of doubts though. As I previously mentioned on an earlier date, I watched a TED talk on the subject of “mental hygiene” and how, by not taking care of ourselves mentally, we could develop a series of mental illnesses.  Approximately 10-20% of Canadian youth are suffering from a mental illness or disorder. Not only is it affecting todays youth at an increasing rate but it is threatening lives as we speak. Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrial world. If that doesn’t make you sick, I don’t know what will. 

A teenager suffering from emotional or physical abuse at home, could experience severe mental illnesses in the future.

Now you might be asking what causes these mental illnesses. Is it in our DNA? Is it an environmental factor? It is a personal thing? Well, if any of these came to mind, you would be 100% correct. Mental illnesses are caused by a wide range of factors including biological, personal and environmental. It affects people of all ages, educations, income levels and cultures. There can be no escape. 

About 4000 people die prematurely each year by suicide. More people right now are in the hospital due to a mental disorder than to any other medically related problem, besides severe injuries. The worst part, is that only 1 in 5 kids who require mental health services receive them. 

There is a chance you will never have the symptoms relevant to a mental illness. There is a chance you will walk without a slap on the wrist by your brain. But then again there is always a chance that you will go through a manic episode at some point in your life. 

Now this isn’t to label myself with any mental illness, although I have no doubt that I have experienced similar episodes in my short life already. The truth is though that the way that we treat ourselves and take care of our mental state affects us on a much deeper level. Like a cut on the brain that scars, but never heals fully. 

Think about it this way. 

If you get a cut and it gets infected, because you either refused or decided not to put a band-aid on it, then the infection could lead to further consequences. Such as a blood disease. 

If you become emotionally hurt or decide not to take care of your mental state daily, because you think it’s unnecessary, then those cuts on the brain become scars which lead to further consequences. Such as a mental illness. 

Put band-aids on your wounds and take care of your mental health.

I have had my doubts and I have decided that there is no point to them. I am either going to make it or I am not. If I don’t, then it does not mean I am a failure, it means that I took a risk in putting myself out there and life has other plans for me. I just want to do something that makes me feel good about myself and I think that this program and the two others I have chosen will help me fulfill that goal. 

Self-discoveries, eh? You can’t live or at least go on living, without them. 

Reference List 

Mental Health Commission of Canada (2013). Fast Facts about Mental Illness. Retrieved from https://cmha.ca/about-cmha/fast-facts-about-mental-illness 

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