What a week!

It’s been a week, one whirlwind, awesome, challenging- week. 

Amid all the crazy I don’t think of my mental health, which is a nice break. I get into a “get shit done” mode and generally just try and survive until sleep arrives.

Friday for example I worked from 4am until 9:30pm straight through and then went out with friends, cause St.Paddy’s Day arrives but once a year! Next day I committed to volunteering at 8am then worked until 10pm.

The hours are hard, the lack of breathing time exhilarating, the copious amounts of coffee-clearly not healthy.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. 

I love the challenge of testing my limits. It’s rewarding to be able to look back and say, “that was entirely too much” but also, “I did that! I survived that!”

It’s not all fun however, despite the outcomes.

My social media makes each 18 hour day seem relatively glamorous. Instagram shows a smiling face; coffee (who can complain about that?!); Twitter is engaging; and Facebook shows happy memories. Snapchat makes light of the hours, and is the only true perspective to the reality, one that only close friends get to see.

I volunteer, work two jobs, manage many volunteer positions in my spare moments, have pets to take care of, and try to gain some semblance of normalcy throughout it all. In all this other elements of my life suffer. 

The pets are cared for less, sleep doesn’t happen, relationships take a hit- far too much goes to the wayside.

So today, as I take the time to focus on #selfcare, finally call my parents back, and “reset my life” I remind you that what you see online isn’t always the reality.

Look beyond what you see on a screen to the reality of a human being.

A smile is easy in front of a flash. 

Take care of yourselves friends ❤

Join the conversation! Give this post a share, a like or a comment! Spread the word about mental health, and body-focused repetitive behaviours.<3 -A

Don’t Silence Us.

Dear MSVU,

I’ve been a university student for almost six years. Starting at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2010. In January of last year I started at Mount Saint Vincent University, in a second undergrad. University is tough- it’s expensive, and there’s pressure to do far more than study and learn.

I’ve seen students struggle, I’ve struggled.

Yet in my experiences universities are trying to adapt, trying to support their students. UPEI’s Mental Health Week has created conversations among students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community. Campaigns at MSVU such as “I’m Feeling… ” and “#MentalHealthMatters” give me optimism.

There’s talk, there’s a movement towards change, and stopping the silence surrounding mental health on campuses…and then stories like this appear. 

MSVU Student Not Allowed To Tell Others He’s Suicidal Per School’s Wellness Agreement  via Global News Halifax

Mount Saint Vincent University’s wellness agreement forbid him to tell other students in residence that he was suicidal.

I’m a Mount Saint Vincent University student, in the Bachelor of Public Relations Program, I am in the same year as this student. This student is someone I call a friend, a classmate, and one day will call a colleague. This makes me sick. 

MSVU has been nothing but supportive in recent months of my ventures in the Mental Health community, they’ve shared my posts, attended events, hosted summits and held campaigns. From the outside, and until yesterday, from the inside, it seemed like MSVU was on track. We’ve got supports, hey we even have a therapy dog!
Yet this comes into light and I question what is going on in the minds of MSVU Administrators, people I look up to. There is no one better to understand someones struggles than those who are also in the same situation, peers. Then tell me where the logic is in secluding a student from talking to their peers…other students?

Someone, please explain, because I’m confused. 

I was proud of the school I attend, I was amazed at the support you’ve shown me. Then this? Now I’m not so sure.

You say you support us… Why then are my classmates frustrated? Why then am I concerned about hearing other MSVU students have been silenced? Why then do I feel fear in writing this? WHY.

I don’t have the solutions, but I do have a voice, as do all of you. Share this story, let Mount Saint Vincent University, and others with similar policies that this is NOT OKAY. We’d never silence a diabetic from sharing their struggles with insulin pumps, why then silence a student who is struggling with a mental illness?


A Frustrated MSVU Student.