Last month LAB-B , the home to a community of creative entrepreneurs headquartered in Brampton held an event titled ‘Community Conversation on Mental Health’. Needless to say, the event was well-attended given that mental health is an issue that now afflicts a record number of millennials in North America.
More than half of Canada’s millennials are at a high risk of developing a mental health issue, according to a Ipsos poll released in April.
Just days before the start of Mental Health Week,(May 2nd-8th) the Ipsos poll warned that 53 per cent of Canada’s young adults are at risk of grappling with depression and other mental well-being concerns
Among South Asians, the problem is even more acute given the stigma attached to mental health.
Harpreet Singh, LAB-B’s co-founder and his team concluded that having such an event open to anyone wanting to understand anxiety or needed to get some strategies to help someone in need was the need of the hour.
The two speakers at the event were Maneet Chahal, a young registered nurse working in the community mental health sector in the Region of Peel and Jasmeet Chagger, a registered nurse working in the same sector in the Region of Peel.
Both Jasmeet and Maneet having grown up in Brampton know fully well how cultural and social barriers in the South Asian community prevent individuals suffering mental health issues from receiving timely help.
“Because of our upbringing, we South Asians often don’t speak about emotional issues in our households,” says Jasmeet in an interview with Can-India.
According to Maneet there needs to be better communication and understanding between parents and children.
At the event it was stressed that seeking help for mental issues was nothing to feel ashamed about. Mental health problems affect all individuals including the South Asian population; however, the stigma within this community poses a challenge when individuals want to discuss this topic with loved ones and professionals. Difficulty expressing one’s feelings can lead to increased stress, anxiety and other negative impact on mental health.
The two presenters let audience know that if anyone sought help, those treating them were bound by law to keep it confidential. Individuals could seek help anonymously through phone lines as well as face-to-face meetings with counselors.
The need of the hour was early detection. But more than that, South Asians regardless of age need to realize that getting help for stress-related issues is no different from going to your family physician to treat a physical illness.
Mental illness doesn’t just affect the person, often it is the entire family that bears the burden.
LAB-B plans on hosting more such events to address mental health issues as well as other socially relevant topics in the months to come.
Meanwhile on a lighter note, on 13th August, LAB-B is organizing a patio event called Summer ’16. It will be Brampton’s first patio event for the Arts and Culture industry! For all those stressed by all that hard work, here’s an event that could be just the right antidote- enjoying a wonderful evening meeting new people, listening to some great live-music, sampling local brew and munching on complementary finger foods. Tickets are $10.
For more information, visit their website. – CINEWS