Judging the Mental Health of People You Don’t Know

ErinThe Mental Health System17 Comments

I’m really surprised at how much people compare their struggles to someone else’s without knowing the full story. The other day I was sitting in a waiting room, ten minutes before seeing my psychiatrist. There were three other people in the waiting room and soon a name was called and two people stood up and left. It appeared as though one … Read More

ErinJudging the Mental Health of People You Don’t Know

Systems Improvement Through Service Collaboratives: My Two-Day Conference Experience

ErinLocal Events, The Mental Health System7 Comments

I just returned home from a whirlwind trip into Toronto to attend the Centre of Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH)’s knowledge exchange event on Systems Improvement Through Service Collaboratives (SISC). In other words, it was a two-day conference with the biggest and most influential mental health heroes from Ontario, and I was invited as a volunteer to share my story … Read More

ErinSystems Improvement Through Service Collaboratives: My Two-Day Conference Experience

The Sick & The Well

ErinThe Mental Health System11 Comments

Little is more important to a writer than hearing someone say, “I read your work.” Today, four separate people came up to me to praise my blog, my writing, my truth. With each comment I felt like I was going to burst into tears of gratitude or tackle that person with a giant hug. These four people came from youth … Read More

ErinThe Sick & The Well

Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit

ErinPsych Ward, The Mental Health System, Uncategorized17 Comments

I’m finally ready to write about this. You know how I’ve talked about there being an infinite amount of rock bottoms, at least in my life? During my last hospital stay, I ended up in the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit for the first time in my twelve years of being in London Ontario’s mental health care system. To back up … Read More

ErinPsychiatric Intensive Care Unit

First Impressions of a Psych Ward

ErinPsych Ward, The Mental Health System15 Comments

My first impressions of the London Ontario psych ward were nightmarish. A nurse had led me to an elevator taking me from the ER up to the seventh floor of Victoria Hospital (everyone just called it South Street Hospital). She handed me off to another nurse who lead me through a dark hallway carpeted in an ugly puke brown. I … Read More

ErinFirst Impressions of a Psych Ward

Incompetency in the ER

ErinEmergency, The Mental Health System7 Comments

When I finish a journal I usually flip back through the entries to reflect on what I’ve been through since I started writing in it. Last night I came across an entry I’d written after leaving the ER one night. It was by far one of my worst experiences there. In this instance from February 2010, I had gone to … Read More

ErinIncompetency in the ER

A Plea to Doctors and Patients

ErinThe Mental Health System9 Comments

I just turned off a rerun of House on tv and it got me thinking about the dramas we watch on tv, especially the medical dramas. Why do we watch these shows? The storylines are interesting, love between characters ups the ante, but every episode of medical dramas tend to include a stranger being helped. This stranger goes to the … Read More

ErinA Plea to Doctors and Patients

The Brave New World of Medication

ErinMedication, The Mental Health System2 Comments

I’m not going to lie: I’m swamped in getting ready for my craft show this weekend and have not written a new post. While I hope to be a Speedy Gonzales-esque writer one of these days and write ten posts ahead of schedule, it hasn’t happened yet. Don’t be disappointed, however! Tonight you get to step into the shoes of … Read More

ErinThe Brave New World of Medication

Language of the Uncomfortable

ErinThe Mental Health System8 Comments

After my recent post titled “The Noonday Demon,” a friend told me it was no longer politically correct to use the term “Third World Country.” Upon doing some research, I learned the alternative phrase some people are now using is “undeveloped.” While the terms of “First World Country” to “Fourth World Country” initially came about to classify political world views … Read More

ErinLanguage of the Uncomfortable