So you want to work in mental health…

I was part of a panel discussion at the University of Toronto recently on community engagement work in the mental health sector. It was exciting to see so many people interested in working in mental health. The questions and comments from the audience made it clear that they understood the need for patient-centered innovation and they wanted to create change in the sector. But with innovation, there’s turmoil, in any industry. So here are five things to consider if you’re looking at

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Is that juice cleanse just another compulsion?

I often get questions about the “right” foods to eat for mental illness recovery: What are the best foods to prevent intrusive thoughts? Will eliminating gluten lower my anxiety levels? Can a detox fix the chemical imbalances in my body? But if you’ve struggled with your mental health, be very careful about searching for a magic solution by drastically restricting or changing your diet, even if it’s temporary. Before you get started on a detox/cleanse, consider these three questions:

Overcoming stigma when blogging about health and illness.

I recently gave a keynote presentation at Diabetes Linkup, a conference for Type 2 Diabetes bloggers, on the topic of overcoming stigma to connect with peers online. I was sharing lessons learned from the past four years of sharing about my brain. Whether it’s diabetes or mental illness, the challenges we run into online and the ways we can overcome them are very similar. Here are the five lessons I shared:

Want to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions? Build the boat first.

If you’re starting off the new year with plans to make changes that will support recovery from mental illness, be honest about where you are and the skills you’ll need to learn to get to where you want to be. Our goals are often the results of the skills we need to learn, so be sure to make space and spend time and energy on learning those skills. If your destination is on the other side of a lake, you need to

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Take steps forward

  I got this postcard on Ishigaki Island. It sort of translates to “One step is still a step.” Even incredibly long journeys are just single steps strung together. It’s a great reminder that managing to take even just a single step is a really amazing thing. And the next step you take forward will also be an amazing thing. And the one after that, too. Just keep taking single steps forward and soon they add up to a journey.

5 Relapse Recovery Tips

Relapses happen. Here are some tips for getting things back on track, regardless of the specific compulsions you’re dealing with: 1. Don’t turn this into an excuse to dig the hole deeper. You know what’s at the bottom of a hole? More hole. Often when we relapse, we use that as an excuse to go even deeper into our compulsions. We tell ourselves things like, “Oh, you’ve already done it, so you may as well keep going. Tomorrow you’ll quit

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Creating an Energy Map to Design the Year Ahead

When it comes to the new year, I like to draw out where I’m spending my time and energy and position the activities by how they relate to each other, and then I look at whether that makes sense and aligns with where I want to be going in life. After I map out where I’m spending my time and energy, I map out how I want to be spending it in the new year. Then I look at the

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