Warming Up Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk Participants in Whitehorse

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The Mental Health Association of Yukon’s annual Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk took place Tuesday at Shipyards Park. Gurdeep Pandher, front, warmed up the group with Bhangra dance | Whitehorse Star photo by: VINCE FEDOROFF

It was wonderful to warm up the participants with bhangra moves in “Positive Steps to Mental Health” walk, organized by Mental Health Association of Yukon (MHAY) this morning! The walk kicked off Mental Illness Awareness Week events in Whitehorse, which are also being organized all over Canada.

It was also uplifting to see so many people in Whitehorse coming together and talking loudly about mental health.

Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem. ~ Canadian Mental Health Association

(Photo credit: Whitehorse Star photo by: VINCE FEDOROFF)

Warming Up Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk Participants in Whitehorse
Warming Up Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk Participants in Whitehorse

⇒ Fast Facts about Mental Illness, According to The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) website:-

Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How common is it?

  • By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. ~ Canadian Mental Health Association

Yukon's newspaper Whitehorse Star featured our event on its home page.
Yukon’s newspaper Whitehorse Star featured our event on its home page.

In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. ~ Canadian Mental Health Association

 

Watson Lake Secondary School | Yukon | Pink Shirt Day Video | Anti-Bullying Awareness

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Watson Lake Secondary School | Yukon | Pink Shirt Day Video | Anti-Bullying Awareness

During the Pink Shirt Day, on February 28, 2018,  at Watson Lake Secondary School in the Yukon, Canada, Gurdeep Pandher and school students wore pink shirts and danced Bhangra together under the slogan “Nice Needs No Filter”. This special event was held to raise anti-bullying awareness in our schools, homes, workplaces and online. We all need to stand together against bullies.

Sometimes, mental health conditions or unhealthy upbringing or peer pressures can create bullies too. So, we need more mental health education and practitioners to study the behaviour so that the best measures are adopted to prevent it.

Everyone deserves safe spaces to live their lives to the fullest.

Starring:
Gurdeep Pandher

Other Participants:
Sue Rudd, Tarah Boone, Seth Boss, Adam Cook-Lamha, Amber Dickson, Christopher Dickson, Trynaty Durante, Kate Durocher, Cassandra Hanchar, Jennifer Kroeker, Marshal Law, Jordan Lehune, Eric Lewis, Levi Lutz-Dennis, Taylor MacLeod, Brett Marko-Wolftail, Philippe Mass, Juanita Olson, Racheyll Stewart, Mitcheal Stubenberg, Nicole Tibbett, Shilo Ouellette, Michelle Bakos, Sue Chief, Terri Lee Skerry and Max, Laurel Cole

Music and Lyrics:
Gurdeep Pandher

Vocals:
Gurdeep Pandher, Sue Rudd and School Students

Lyrics:-
Nice needs no filter
It really needs no filter
Nice means embrace all
Love all and respect all
All colours are beautiful
All choices are beautiful
It’s Ok to be different
It’s OK to feel different
Be unique Be yourself
Dance together and create friendships
Treat others equally
Think about your words and actions
Don’t be a bully
We all are people
We all are the same
Love everyone for who they are
Live without judgement
Love all people
Let’s stop bullying
Let’s end bullying forever
Nice needs no filter


Watch it on Facebook:-

https://www.facebook.com/GurdeepPandher/videos/2021128481250920/


Watson Lake Secondary School | Yukon | Pink Shirt Day Video | Anti-Bullying Awareness
Watson Lake Secondary School | Yukon | Pink Shirt Day Video | Anti-Bullying Awareness

Students and Gurdeep Pandher working on song vocals in the school gym
Students and Gurdeep Pandher working on the song vocals in the school gym

Gurdeep Pandher and Sue Rudd from Watson Lake Community Hospital outside of the Watson Lake Secondary School
Gurdeep Pandher and Sue Rudd from Watson Lake Community Hospital outside of the Watson Lake Secondary School

Should You Disclose Your Struggles to Your Friends?

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Undoubtedly, life is not known for being excessively kind all of the time. There will be occasions where the situation is less than ideal, and the ensuing struggle is difficult to bear alone. However, the debate then becomes whether or not one should discuss these challenges with friends and family. On one hand, the conversation may be constructive and helpful in recovering from the current darkness, but, unfortunately, the sharing process may lead to rejection and discomfort for all parties involved. Therefore, it is necessary to use one’s judgment in deciding through consideration of a few general factors such as type of relationship, past experiences, and what the end result may be.

The instinct may be to share with whomever one knows for the longest period of time, but this may not be the best route. The ideal confidant is familiar, but can also keep their distance and be objective with regards to giving advice. Of course, a mere acquaintance is a poor choice and may lead to uncomfortable circumstances, but a best friend may be quick to defend and shift away responsibility, which can turn the meaningful discussion into a pity party. Additionally, each friend probably has a ‘designated’ role in one’s life (the wing-person, the partier, etc.). Decide what type of role would best fit the need, and reach out to that person.

Stereotyping, though, will only be accurate to a limited degree. The best indicator of future success is past experience. If one friend has a track record of being a good listener, then they would be an obviously advantageous choice. However, if another person is loose-lipped and threatens any hope of being discrete, look elsewhere. The objective is to create a safe environment, so insecurities can be temporarily swept under the rug and vulnerabilities can show.

Finally, it is essential to consider the end result of the conversation. Hopefully, the disclosure will accomplish something, even if it is only relief from being able to share a burden. No dramatic outcome such as a complete and total resolution needs to come from it, but progress towards recovery should be achieved in some form, which may not be immediately obvious. In other words, the most important aspect to consider is a sense of well-being. However, this will come at the price of complete and utter honesty, which is incredibly difficult to achieve. Therefore, it is ultimately best to confide in someone removed from the situation in order to decrease anxiety.

All in all, confiding in a friend about struggling with some aspect of life is a meaningful and helpful process for alleviating the pain of emotions, but only with the right person. Remember, the ultimate goal is to have an outlet to which to voice frustrations and a figure who offers advice in a positive form.

Be A Child Again

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Do you remember those carefree days you spent when you were young, not a care in the world? Do you sometimes sit at home wondering what happened to the past version of yourself that loved ice cream cones, ran through sprinklers, and rode your bike everywhere? Obviously, we grow up and our interests shift, but you don’t have to give up being a kid for good. If you’re an adult every single moment of every day, it gets boring and stuffy; so go out and reclaim you childish side!

You don’t have to quit your day job in order to be childish, simple acts every day works just as well. In the morning, skip your coffee and get a hot chocolate. Instead of drinking wine, have some soda water. Just changing your diet to resemble a child’s can give you a fresh perspective. However, don’t go overboard. An occasional treat is fine, coke and chips for every meal is not.

This may sound like a no brainer, but going outside can raise your mood. Unless you were a very unhealthy and inactive child, playing outside with friends was probably the highlight of your day. Just for fun, schedule a sports tournament with your coworkers and friends over a weekend. It’s perfect for getting everyone together to unwind and be active. To make the day even more interesting, invite the children of your friends to join in. Before you know it, the day will have flown by in a flurry of fun and competition.

A huge part of being a child is the childish antics. It’s okay to be immature sometimes, so feel free to pull small pranks on your friends from time to time or make up inappropriate jokes. However, be aware your main responsibility is still to be an adult, so make sure not to go overboard. Also, make sure your pranks are harmless, and that your jokes are heard by your friends only after work hours, not by your boss in the office. Activities like a water balloon fight or laser tag, however, can be enjoyed with whomever you want.

With the right attitude, it’s very easy to awaken your childish side once again. Sometimes, you just need a break from reality and take a trip down memory lane. In fact, reverting back to a kid for a short time can boost your mood, and simplify your life. The next time you want to just bike the whole day away or break your diet for that snow cone, don’t feel guilty. It’s perfectly fine to indulge yourself.

Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 – Should the Core of Canadian Democracy Be Disturbed?

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Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 - Should the Core of Canadian Democracy Be Disturbed?

To express views freely is definitely the core of modern democracy and no step should be taken which robs citizens of their right to peaceful protest. A democratic government is by the people and for the people, so people and their rights must come first.

I’ve been following stories about this prospective legislation since it became a hot topic of conversation back in the fall 2014. As you are probably aware, during the autumn of 2014, Canada lost two of its precious soldiers in an appalling act of violence by a lone gunman. The RCMP have characterized this attack as an act of terrorism. I was saddened by this terrible brutality on our beautiful Canadian soil.

For this reason, I “partially” support this type of anti-terrorist legislation as known as Bill C-51, as I’m aware that growing threats to Canada make the task of ensuring national security much harder for government authorities. Recent attacks in France and Australia underscore the fact that other nations, such as ours, need to beef up national security.

However, on the other hand, I am equally worried about the prospective bill’s impact on the personal freedom and liberty of Canadians. There were times when countries of the world were run by so-called tyrant rulers (or powerful religious figures), and these sorts of leaders often ruled their people without the people’s consent. Of course, ordinary citizens could only put up with these tyrants for so long, and this is why revolutions began. People fought bravely for freedom and many hundreds of thousands made the ultimate sacrifice, by dying for freedom.

Due to those sacrifices, we must remember and honour the very long path that others travelled in order to give us access to a democratic governmental system, which makes it impossible for leaders to rule with iron fists. Our past generations paid heavy prices in order to obtain personal freedom, which we continue to enjoy today.

As you can see, I am concerned that the personal freedom of innocent Canadians will be placed at risk if Bill C-51 passes into law.

I am disturbed by the present Government’s statement about the Bill C-51 – “The world is a dangerous place and Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks on our own soil demonstrate that our law enforcement and national security agencies require more tools to keep pace with evolving threats, and to better protect Canadians here at home.”

In my view, the world is not a dangerous place. Rather, the world is a beautiful, interesting, and colourful place which is filled with inspiring people. Only some people are dangerous, not everybody! The vast majority of people in all of the world’s many nations are peaceful and trustworthy human beings. Even dangerous people may have become that way because they are products of their environments. This means that they may have experienced trauma, brain-washing, lack of nurturing, social isolation and mental illness during their lifetimes (and particularly during the all-important formative years).

In my opinion, Canada should invest in mental health research, awareness and treatment, in order to give those who are disturbed and dangerous the care and compassion that they need. I feel that more investment in mental health services on the part of our government would lower crime rates and reduce the risk of terrorist acts. Bill C-51 seems like a bill which may be counter-productive, in that it creates a sense of being subject to suspicions and scrutiny by security organizations. In some cases, this sense of being persecuted or watched by government agencies may lead to more paranoia and more violence!

There are also concerns that this type of legislation may be misused in order to target peaceful protesters. To express views freely is definitely the core of modern democracy and no step should be taken which robs citizens of their right to peaceful protest. A democratic government is by the people and for the people, so people and their rights must come first.

What are your thoughts of Bill C-51? Please leave a comment if you’d like to share your views. Thanks for dropping by today!