When you consider the stigma in society around mental health, it’s easy to understand why mental illness and feelings of shame and hopelessness often go hand in hand.
Dr. Javeed Sukhera, Senior Designate Physician Lead, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at London Health Sciences Centre, said many students are suffering in silence with mental health issues despite the growing resources to address these concerns.
Sukhera was a speaker for the second annual Break the Silence event on mental health at Ivey on January 23, organized by the student group myHBA. He discussed the importance of being an “Olympic listener” and being open to your own vulnerabilities when addressing mental health. He also said health-care practitioners may become frustrated since there is no quick-fix solution to mental health concerns. And while he said mental health patients may be treated differently than other types of patients, the stigma surrounding mental health is also slowly improving.
“I will never stop fighting until we have better systems, which we all deserve,” he said. “When we think about solutions to the medical system, we have to think about bravery. We talk about safe spaces and we can build safe spaces anywhere. However, until we foster the courage to speak up about mental illness wherever we go, safety will not be a state of mind.”