Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Share your story

Have you been touched by mental illness,
share your story...

The Rule: Keep it clean. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Daniel Alfredsson — a champion for mental health

As a professional hockey player, I spend a lot of time in the spotlight, both on and off the ice. My private life is pretty normal really. I have a wife, three young children, close friends, and a family back in Sweden.

So when my sister began struggling with mental illness I wasn’t sure what to do or how to help. I didn’t understand what was happening to her and had no idea how to help. To be honest, I don’t feel that I did enough to support her at the time.
My sister was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder eight years ago. She has great days and other days that aren’t so good. She has great support from my parents and her boyfriend and I do everything I can even though we live so far away from each other. But she still faces societal challenges related to stigma. That’s not right.
That’s why I’ve decided to speak out for mental health with my sister’s blessing to lead the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health’s you know who I am campaign. This is a way I can demonstrate my love for my sister and encourage people to get help when they need it without fear of shame. I also want to remind everyone that mental illness deserves the same care and compassion as any other physical illness.
So let’s educate ourselves about mental illness. It’s a complicated thing to understand – and it can take many different forms, from mild to chronic illness. The more we understand, the less fear and stigma we will have, and the easier it will be for people suffering to get help.

Together we can make a difference - Together we can change attitudes - Together we can mend the lives that have been broken.

Thanks for your time.