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My Mental Health Story

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

Why Me?

This is not the career path I set out on - funny how that works, right?

But it feels like so many things have led me right here. Years of delivering training and speaking in front of groups - becoming so comfortable with something that I never imagined I could be comfortable with.

That feeling, deep down that all of the work was preparing me for something, preparing me to use my own experiences. Back then, I couldn’t fathom what that would be, I didn’t feel like I had my own story.

Instead I stood on stages at conferences and was great at telling other people’s stories, making them come alive for audiences. Still, that feeling that some piece of the puzzle was missing.

Then, a few years ago. Feeling like I was walking around as a shell of my former self. A feeling that crept up on me so slowly that I had no idea what was happening to me. Lots of physical symptoms - aches, pains, brain fog, feeling like I couldn’t focus or concentrate. Feeling irritable all.the.time.

I kept going. Working, being with my family but I felt HORRIBLE on the inside. The changes were subtle and yet extreme. I feel like if I wasn’t so self-aware I would have gone for YEARS without a diagnosis of depression/anxiety (and I believe many, many people do).

Why now?

I have no real answer for that other than perhaps genetics, childbirth, hormones, and stress all coincided to bring out symptoms that had maybe always been there, just less. Awakening something that had been dormant. I will never know, but what’s important in this story, the KEY is that I did something.

I talked.

I asked.

I took medication.

I learned.

I worked on myself.

I talked more.

I learned more.

#mentalhealth and #mentalwellness is a journey friends - it’s not a “let’s fix it solution”. It’s an everyday part of my life now. A life that I believe is 10x better than it was before because of something that I could have easily ignored or pushed away.

I FOUND so much. Things that I had been missing. Things that allowed me to feel joy again and now I know why - because I can share all of these things (and more) in my training and speaking with you 🙏🏻 #alive

The Training

From my own journey, I realized that there are so many facets and elements of mental health and wellbeing that most of us don't really understand. I wanted to be able to share my knowledge with as many people as possible. I genuinely feel that every human who interacts with other humans needs to have the Mental Health First Aid training in their skills toolbox. I trained as a Mental Health First Aid facilitator to help bring these important skills to those in my networks (and beyond).

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Currently the Mental Health First Aid course is available in two formats. Mental Health First Aid Standard (Virtual) 8 hour or Mental Health First Aid Basic (In Person) 12 hour certificate course.

"Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the support provided to a person who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis. Course participants will learn how to recognize signs that a person may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis and encourage that person to:

  • Talk about declines in their mental well-being

  • Discuss professional and other supports that could help with recovery to improved mental well-being

  • Reach out to these support

  • Assist in a mental health or substance use crisis

  • Use MHFA actions to maintain one’s own mental well-being".

Who Takes MHFA?

"Everyone. Anyone can benefit from MHFA, and more than 300,000 Canadians have been trained already. From psychological health and safety in the workplace to schools and community groups to people in Northern Canada, MHFA has had a positive and long lasting impact on Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

MHFA is well suited to all workplaces seeking to reduce incidences of mental health problems and issues". Source: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Upcoming Mental Health First Aid

Take a virtual course from work or from home anywhere in Canada. You can find a listing of upcoming virtual mental health first aid training courses with Alison here.

Not able to attend a course yet but want to be notified about upcoming classes?

Have Alison speak at your next event (in person or virtual) E-Mail contact (at) alisonbutler (dot) ca or learn more about requesting a speaking quote here.

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