not myself today at work

so today is the launch of the partner's for mental health 'not myself today' campaign at work.  the campaign looks at opening up conversations about mental health in the workplace and reducing stigma.  they even have a 'not myself day' where people wear their mood on a pin! all in all, it's pretty exciting.
you can check out more about the campaign here: http://www.notmyselftoday.ca/home


i don't have all that much to say about this other than it's pretty exciting.
i'm a student. i've had small jobs and jobs for awhile but ultimately my main job is being a student right now and that suits me just fine.  sometimes i wonder how on earth i managed to get a degree while i was depressed.  most of my friends roll eyes when i say that, but i think of just how miserable i was and i seriously wonder how i kept it together enough to keep churning out papers for four years.  and i don't necessarily think it is a good thing - it probably would have been wise for me at certain times to step back and drop a semester or so, but i'm pretty stubborn so that didn't happen.  the choice to continue working or school when you're depressed or because of any other mental illness is a pretty personal one, and the right choice is different for everyone.  i'm not working right now, but i probably should be.  i'm just the kind of person who needs structure in my life to be able to function.  that's how i roll.

so, i'm looking for a job.  fellow community correspondent mel dearden wrote an awesome post about why you should hire someone who is open about their mental illness here: http://meldearden.wordpress.com/ and she says just about everything that needs to be said on the matter so i won't get into it all too much.  basically she talks about the skill overlap, and how the communication skills and emotional intelligence required to navigate a mental illness are desirable skills for employers to be seeking as well.  challenging yourself and your thought patterns forces you to engage with all kinds of paradigms around wellness and mental illness.

that's what this post is about.  it's a bit rambly but that's okay.  my thoughts are pretty scattered on the subject since i'm not working right now.  embracing mental health is more about finding and cultivating the power of mental wellness than simply tolerance and tolerating conversations of mental illness.  it's about opening that conversation into a safe sphere where it is celebrated. what i'm saying here is this - the best thing you can do as an employer for the mental health of your employees is celebrate mental health.  don't just allow these conversations to happen, but celebrate them.  and that's what it's all about.

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