May 2-8th has been designated Mental Health Week by the Canadian Mental Health Association and it’s been on my mind a lot this week. Coincidentally, there’s been a very high profile court case running that deals with abuse and mental illness, and while the testimony has not been completed, and I’m not passing premature judgement, I’m encouraged by the dialogue this case has brought about.
I think we have a tendency to talk more about depression and suicide when we think about mental health, but this week, I’ve thought more about mental illness.
I suspect many people prior to this highly publicized case would have envisioned only the man as the abuser. That preconception is why the statistics are so skewed when it comes to abuse. Women are just as capable of being abusers. Their methods tend to be different, but they are no less damaging and the stigma attached to a man who comes forth with these allegations, is one of the reasons why they don’t.
I feel like this is a step forward— for men and for a more open discussion about mental illness.
The photograph above might be interpreted differently by everyone who sees it. It’s a sunrise through trees—a reminder that things are not always as they appear.