12 Things to Know When a Parent is Diagnosed with Dementia.

Part of how I deal with my mom’s diagnosis of dementia is by listening to a Podcast hosted by two very smart female comedians. It’s called GUYS WE F****D: THE ANTI SLUT-SHAMING PODCAST. It’s a great distraction, especially when driving home from spending time with my mom, which can be one of the most heart-wrenching times to be alone. Before I found the podcast I used to cry all the way home. It’s a welcomed distraction and very educational. 😉

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How Exercise & Sleep Supports Mental Health

By Allison Smith, Guest Blogger, Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Enthusiast

Depression runs in my family. Both my mothers’ parents took their own lives when she was a teen, and died herself by suicide recently. As difficult as it was, I was motivated more than ever to help others in pain. And so I was honoured when Leslie asked me to speak to her group Professionals Working Well about the importance of exercise and sleep for our mental health. (more…)

When Open Hearts Connect

Open your heart and experience all the emotions. It’s a gift that I seldom open. Most of the time, I’m scared and afraid. I’m scared you will break it, I’m afraid we won’t be connected anymore.

I opened my heart this past week and here is what I found.

Open heart.
Tears in my eyes.
Moved beyond words.
Heavy heart for those who came before us.
Aching love for all that have been affected
Family, friends, strangers, professionals, caregivers.
Stopped in mid sentence by overwhelming emotions.
Caught off guard when I least expect it.
Move through it  – breathe deeply.
Balancing between incredible outrage for those who suffer and the love I experience for all of us,
even those who dishonour us,
even those who stare and call us crazy.

My experience tells me we are all the same, we come from the same place and we have the same needs;
connection,
love,
even if I don’t care to admit it.

Fear stops me from talking, it stops me from connecting, it stops me from loving. (more…)

A Leap of Faith – Disclosing Mental Illness in the Workplace

Telling a potential new client that I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder 17 years ago was the farthest thought from my mind last Friday. We were sitting in their boardroom hammering out the final details of our contract. Our next step was to review and agree on what both parties had put forward and sign off on the 1-year agreement. Still not a done deal.

I’m not sure how this happened; we started talking about our personal lives, and suddenly my partner looked over at me and said “what’s your passion, Leslie?”

Time slowed down; my heart dropped to my stomach, I felt a tightening in my chest; my mind started racing from one thought to the next, and as I looked at the clock on the wall, I realized I had three minutes to share my commitment and passion in transforming the Mental Health system in Canada. (more…)