Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello and Welcome!

Hi Everyone,
My name is Heather Hennigar. In March, 2005 I sat beside the Honourable Michael Wilson at a press conference at the Royal Ottawa Hospital and helped launch a campaign titled "You Know Who I Am". I had no idea what would transpire in my life since making that decision to lend my face to the campaign. I really could not have imagined how it would impact my life - just by telling my story.

I am one in five. In 2000, I was diagnosed with post partum depression, major depressive disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia. Everyone who had known me before my diagnosis would have described me as normal, happy and outgoing. The sad truth was that I had kept my pain and suffering a secret for many years. I was ashamed and scared.

After four years of intensive treatment - medication and psychotherapy, I started to come alive again. Now, it has been eight years and I am better than ever! It was not easy. I had nine visits to the hospital (each lasting about three weeks) and I survived a suicide attempt in August, 2004.

Mental illness does not dicriminate. It can happen to anyone, anytime. We all need to work together to talk openly about it. I look forward to sharing more of my story with you and would love to hear your comments and stories as well.

Last, and certainly not least, a big personal "thank-you" to Daniel Alfredsson. I know what kind of courage it takes come forward.