Submitted by: Mom and Sister
My Tribute: October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Something we had no idea was a "day" until today. But we think that given everything that has happened this week, it is something that needs to be talked about.
Mental Illness is something that has affected our family directly, something that Greg had suffered with for the past few years and it was not an easy ride. He was a diagnosed schizophrenic and often suffered from anxiety as well. He had to deal with long wait lists until he was finally able to get into a stable program. There are very few strong programs in the city of Calgary to support individuals and families who have to deal with Mental Illness, Greg had to travel all the way up to Foothills Hospital just for a prescription refill! We will always push for better access to help for those suffering.
Greg did not understand how to fully cope with pain in his life so he turned to an easy answer, drugs. As many people with mental illness often do. We didnt even know the severity of his drug problem until it was too late, he suffered in silence. We are not going to hide what happened to Greg. We hope he can be that example that will help send someone down the right path.
We encourage you all to speak up about Mental Health. It is okay to have anxiety. It is okay to be depressed. Speak up. We need to get past this stigma around Mental Health. As a society we need to build up better access to our Mental Health programs. Lets not just give people medications to numb the pain, but actual support systems to help them work through the pain.
And if anyone needs to just talk, we are here to listen. No one should suffer alone and in silence.