Kudos to Clara Hughes and her ride across Canada to end the stigma of mental health issues and sharing her story with Canadians. Depression is a story that is getting more and more media attention. Recently the death of OHL player, Terry Trafford, brought to the forefront how much pressure young athletes feel and the lengths that they go to disguise their distress. The stigma of depression has a long way to go before this fact: Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth according to Waterloo Suicide Prevention Council (http://www.wrspc.ca/suicide-facts.html) is no longer on the list. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal seek help immediately. Your local emergency department or 911 are contacts for immediate assistance and in the Waterloo Region you can contact:
• Crisis Services of Waterloo Region: 519-744-1813
• Distress Centre (Waterloo Region): 519-745-1166
• Youth Line (Waterloo Region): 519-745-9909
The stigma of going for treatment for mental health issues has a long way to go. How easy it is to say, ‘I went to the doctor because I have had an ear ache for 2 weeks’ but won’t say, ‘I went to see a therapist because I haven’t been happy for 2 weeks.’ That is when we will know the Big Ride has made a Big Change.