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Showing posts from November, 2010

The SSNS 22nd Annual Conference Experience

The 22nd Annual Conference: Mental Illness- Why Me? Hosted by Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) was wonderful! The event took place on Friday, November 26, 2010 at Pier 21. The SSNS Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Ayer, gave me a warm welcome along with the Board of Directors. Dr. Ayer gave me a tour of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I had an opportunity to dine with the Board of Directors and a couple of other speakers for the conference. The Board gave me a beautiful gift of a photograph taken by J. Ross. In addition to that, I went to dinner with another presenter from the conference, Ms. Laura Burke and her family and friends.


A Photograph by J. Ross

Speaking at the conference enabled me to share my testimony of living with schizophrenia, and to give suggestions to other people directly affected by the illness. I titled my speech, A Distorted Perception to Reality: My Insight Into Recovery, because for me, schizophrenia forced me to think irrationally. However, the il…

IOOV Presentation on Monday, November 15th

On Monday, November 15, 2010 I facilitated a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) program called In Our Own Voice (IOOV). The program's objective is to fight stigma by sharing one's story of recovery. The presentation involves a 15 minute DVD of several testimonies that is divided by chapters that emphasize the struggle, or worse part of the illness, acceptance and coping skills, as well as a section on hopes and dreams.

The audience was very receptive to my experience of living with schizophrenia. The audience were mostly police officers, however, the program can be for any sort of audience including consumers, someone living with a mental health diagnosis, students, etc. These police officers were in a training program called Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). They asked so many questions that I had to limit them- it felt really good to have their full attention and to bring about awareness.

I am excited about the program and I look forward to facilitating the next presenta…

Tips for the Family Member

Recently, I wrote about quick tips for the newly diagnosed, however, what about the family members?

If you are a relative of someone living with a diagnosis it is essential to educate yourself about the mental illness. Here are some credible websites that I personally use and recommend to others:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health AdministrationThe National Institute of Mental HealthNational Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada)
There are FREE support groups for family members. NAMI for example, provides these programs. Participating in a support group has many benefits. Here is an example of benefits:
Obtain personal referrals to resources such as treatment facilities and housing options
Learn from other people's experience how to copeDiscuss concerns with someone who has been there and who understandsIf your loved one is in dire need of supervision and support do not feel bad if you need to get assistance from a hospital, independent living…

Benefits of Writing

In psychology class, we briefly discussed the benefits of writing. In fact, the instructor certified these findings by the studies of a man by the name of Mr. James W. Pennebaker. Mr. Pennebaker suggests that writing about traumatic events has benefits, therefore, I encourage you to 1) write, and 2) to do research on this man and his studies as it relates to writing and possibly helping those with a mental health diagnosis.

One of my coping skills involves keeping a journal. I have written about this as a coping skill in the past that works for me and it may work for you too. Although I do not journal everyday, whenever I do journal it makes me feel good because I can reflect on what I've written in the past or at the moment. Usually, I write about everyday events and my thoughts and feelings about them. I try to stay as candid and frank as possible to answer my own doubts or to make decisions.

In fact, I started this blog initially as a diary to reflect on knowledge I acquired abou…