Keith Anderson is a lawyer and mental health advocate. He has been a Bring Change 2 Mind volunteer since December, 2009. He has had articles on his journey through depression appear in the National Post newspaper and publications of the Canadian Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Keith has presented at national conferences and at local events in his native Canada. He sees stigma that is too often inflicted on so many people with mental illness as a form of discrimination, a human rights issue. Keith continues to return to a life worth living by still experiencing new things, such as recently eating sushi for the first time and enjoying it!
Why do I blog?
After my mental breakdown, it took months to get out of bed, years to leave the house. But even in the midst of such difficult times, I knew I wanted a voice. I think it is important, perhaps even incumbent upon those of us who can to find opportunities to share our lived experience with others. By doing so, we will be part of the elimination of stigma. I also find it therapeutic.
I found BC2M….
…in December 2009, I was online a lot, as I wasn’t working and had a limited personal life. I would look for resources and information on mental health topics. I found an article Glenn Close had written for the Huffington Post discussing her co-founding BC2M and the reasons behind it. I then checked out the BC2M website. I continued and joined the BC2M Facebook page. I made some comments over a few weeks. Nancy Evans, the BC2M Executive Director at the time, then contacted me and we arranged a telephone discussion. After which, she invited me to be a BC2M volunteer. I posted my story on the website on January 1, 2010.
What Stigma Means to Me:
I prefer to use the word “discrimination.” We all know and understand what discrimination means.
The Way I Find Wellness:
Currently, I continue to find wellness with family support, a healthy lifestyle, and new people in my life.
If I Had a Magic Wand:
I would give everyone the confidence to address their challenges in life.
My Pick-Me-Up Song:
“Start Me Up” and “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones
Favorite (Mental Health) Book:
The only MH book that I read is Silver Linings Playbook.
If I were a superhero, I would be / have powers to…
…provide some happiness and joy to everyone.
Words to Live By:
“Life is good, it’s even wonderful at times.”