1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness and/or an addiction in any given year. Yet stigma still exists and often stands in the way of important conversations.
Stories are the lifeblood of our work. We’ve all been touched by mental illness and have a story we can share. Stories engage and inspire in ways that statistics cannot. Stories motivate people to take action.
We invite you to take this opportunity to explain why b4stage4 matters to you. We have the data, we know the statistics and the numbers, but this campaign is about so much more than that. It’s about hope, and how our lives are impacted by the people and systems around us.
Telling your story can be enough to save a life. It connects us and helps others understand why this is a priority and why the need for change is now. We know there are barriers in place that prevent people from accessing the care they need – but there are also shining examples of services and supports that work. We want to hear about it all. Tell us what doesn’t work. Show us what does.
Some tips on storytelling
1. Find inspiration
- How has a mental illness impacted you or someone you care about? What helped or enabled recovery?
- How do you take care of your mental health and/or promote the mental health of those around you?
- What does a system of care look like that values mental health and addiction equal to physical health?
2. Suggest a title!
Something catchy. You can use a subtitle to be more descriptive if you want to.
3. Include a photo of yourself (optional)
4. Have fun
It’s about you! Add your own flair and make it personal.
We know some people find using their own name empowering, but please be advised that the reception of your story is beyond our control. If you want to be anonymous, provide a first-name pseudonym and let us know that it’s not your real name.
The responsibility resides with you to obtain permission to use the names of any third party you address. We may remove any identifying details you include.
Please note that you keep the copyright for your story. By sending us your story, however, we have the right to allow other agencies to republish, in whole or part, for educational purposes.
If you are in crisis, please reach out to the BC Mental Health Support Line. The crisis line is available 24 hours a day, you can call 310-6789 (do not enter 604, 250, 778 area code), or access the Crisis Centre's live chat service online at crisiscentrechat.ca (for adults) or youthinbc.com (for youth).