Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In memory of Gord Downie - Depression Suite - Are you going through something?

Today Canada lost their music icon Gord Downie from the Tragically Hip to cancer. Everyone is celebrating his life and the great impact he had, from the Prime Minster, to musicians, activists and many Canadians that crossed paths with him during his 51 years.

Gord Downie was a great poet and we wanted to celebrate his life through his music and beautiful poetry he created during his life. A great poem has the ability to resonate with many and yet seem so intimately unique to each person.

The song we want to celebrate is Depression Suite. The song is a combination of three different songs, which is where it got it's name and it's also a favourite of contemporary Canadian poet, Tanis Rideout. As she put it best "There’s such scope to the song; how it starts in the claustrophobia of hiding in a hotel room and ends up on the wind-scoured sweep of the barrens".

Those who've experienced depression might be able to related to the first part of this song, as it seems to capture that feeling eloquently.

Starting out with:
"Under the pillow I bury my head and try to shut Chicago out"
Trying to isolate ourself and shutting everything out.

Followed by:
"are you going through something?"
As Gord is reaching out, know that there are people out there that care about you and want you to share how you are feeling with them.

"cuz I-I-I-I I am too"
That you are not alone and this experience is far too common and people can help you get out of it.

Let's celebrate his life through his music. You can enjoy the full version of the song below:

He will be missed but remembered for all that he has done for Canada.

Are you going through something? You are not alone.

Kasra Zokaei
CIMHS Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions
Founder and Executive Director

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How many people are impacted by depression worldwide?

It's October 10th and World Mental Health Day 2017 and many people are experiencing mental health challenges. It's 2017 and we still have a long way to go to address the big gap we have in supporting people with mental illness and providing the care and inclusion they need in our society.
There is still a strong stigma associated with mental health. People assume that those with mental illness are different than others or they can simply wish away their problems. People with mental health issues can feel and in fact be excluded from regular activities such as finding a job, safe places to live, or can be even be outcasted by their friends, family, or community. These misunderstandings in our society can prevent people from speaking out about their mental health challenges, so many people suffer in silence.

Beyond the personal toll that mental health takes on people's lives, it has an even greater cost to society. Depression is known to be the common cold of mental illnesses, and there are 300 Million people impact by it globally. 

The scale of the challenge is large, and the level of services and funding is limited. We need new solutions to tackle this scale of problem, which is why our mission at CIMHS is to make effective mental health services more accessible to people around the world.

One way we hope to make a dent is through with Bliss our free online therapy program for depression that we've developed over the last few years. We've taken scientifically proven techniques for improving depressed mood and created a free 8 week online therapy program that people can complete on their own. We recognize the major barrier with stigma for seeking help, so people can complete the program anonymously.

Our hope is that once people realize what a therapy program is all about, they are more inclined to seek additional needed help to get back to their healthy selves.

Kasra Zokaei
CIMHS Centre for Interactive Mental Health Solutions
Founder and Executive Director