Agreed, the stigma must go

Society's role in determining what themes are matched with which holiday

I would like to express my deepest apologies for the wording in my Pumpkin Walk editorial to anyone who may have misinterpreted ‘what I would like to see in an adult haunted house’.

This is just another example of how our society has created themes embedded into pop culture. From Halloween Haunt’s Asylum, American Horror Story: Insane Asylum to T.V show Dexter, media continues to exploit the term ‘psycho’ and ‘crazy’ relating them to anyone in hospital or even just a run-of-the-mill average man. Well, this of course is not the case and these scenarios are fictional.

We should not see mental health as scary or crazy and I am genuinely embarrassed to have anyone think I am unconscientious of people who have mental health issues.

Susan you are right, they are our neighbours, friends, and family, and I personally believe everyone has been effected by mental health at least once within their lifetime.

We should not be afraid, but instead open our arms and hearts to help in any way possible.

I feel strongly about this topic because I have undergone the most hurtful devastation that can result when mental health issues are not addressed. When I was 14 someone in my family took their own life and I will never be the same. However, I do know they loved me very much and simply put, it was a chemical imbalance. Having researched and gone to many group sessions, what I have learned is the only way to stop it is to talk about it.

Former NHL Boston Bruins player Sheldon Kennedy came to my College two years ago and opened up about his conflictions with sexual abuse. He told his story of having to endure ‘touches’ from his managing coach while pulling up the ranks from minors to pro line.

He explained how he had to keep quiet about it or else he would risk being exposed and have his entire life ruined. The problem is, he believed he had no one to talk to, no one to listen. Even if he had, his mentality was ‘who would believe me’. It is a sad day when people feel like they have nowher to turn and it is society that creates the pressure. The toll it took on Mr. Kennedy’s mental health will forever weigh heavy on his self esteem and to this day he continues to have trust issues. Well, it is time to come clean. I have fallen victim to television’s sensationalism like so many of us have. It’s time we let go of the stigma and create welcoming trusting atmospheres so people are not afraid to open up.

Ever since loosing my family member, I’ve thought of myself as an advocate for mental health. I have this affinity to help create awareness for those in my situation or others similar.

I can see how grouping psychiatric patients with a haunted house is a step backwards, but I wrote it with the best of intentions. I certainly did not mean that they are scary and in the future, I hope to not only help erase the stigma on mental health, but never again play into society’s fictional interpretation.