In a beautifully compelling speech, Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador (and Harry Potter star), launched the UN campaign – #HeForShe – calling for the action of men and boys to lead the fight for gender equality. She was there because she cared and in her moments of doubt asking herself why she was taking on this momentous responsibility she asked herself – “If not me – who? If not now – when?”
These two simple questions are what I ask myself every single day.
Although 1 in 4 people worldwide will suffer from mental health problems at some point in their lives (according to the World Health Organization), the words “mental illness” are unfortunately attached to heavy stigma and thus, idle inaction. As a society, we are uncomfortable talking about it. Most of us are comfortable talking about a family member with heart disease or diabetes. But, if a loved one was struggling with a mental illness, would you have the same conversation? For most people – likely not. What’s worse is that this stigma prevents us from acknowledging the problem when it arises in ourselves – preventing us from asking for help and taking action.
As the Cofounder of Perked!, I’ve dedicated my work and my life to enhancing the positive mental health of each individual we touch. We empower individuals with evidence-based tools, support and know-how needed to live a happier more resilient life. We engage with them in a way designed to overcome stigma and inaction – one step at a time. We hope to help those suffering with mental illness and, at the same time, inject awareness and action in others to strengthen their mental resilience. It is immensely rewarding work; however, it is also quite challenging.
Thankfully, in the past decade, immense progress has been made: socially and scientifically. Socially, people and organizations have started to be more accepting of the fact that mental illness is exactly that, a disease. Just like diabetes or the flu, it is a medical condition that is diagnosable and has effective treatments. Scientifically, we now have greater insight into the human brain with advanced brain imaging techniques. Nonetheless, we still have a long way to go.
Perked!’s mission is to accelerate this positive progression in the mental health and wellbeing of our community. We do it because we care and we know you do too. So we need your help. What are three things that you can do?
1) Lets Start With You – Become more aware of your daily emotions and how it impacts your own thoughts and behaviours.
2) For the People You Care About – Look out for symptoms of mental illness (ie. depression – feeling down, loss of interest, lack of sleep, etc.) Be a compassionate listener first before worrying about offering advice.
3) Feeling Adventurous and Up for some Fun? – If you’re adventurous and looking to have some fun while levelling-up your own mental health and wellbeing come check out our free pilot.
“If not YOU – who? If not now – when?”