Of all the taboos we have broken down and pushed into acceptance – divorce, death, cancers, sexual orientation- mental health still remains the most stigmatized.
I heard a soundbite from my daytime companion, CBC radio, and I want to share it with you.
It came from Eric Windeler, the father of Jack Windeler, the boy who died by suicide while at Queen’s University. Eric has made his life’s work the Jack Project. He was on CBC discussing mental health.
He said when we speak to our children, (or for that matter our partners, our loved ones) we need to ask pointedly about their mental health.
Yes. Let’s talk about mental health as though it is a part of the whole- like a 6 point vehicle check up. How is your body, your mind, your spirit, your financial health, your romantic life, your soul?
Call it whatever you want but throw mental health into the mix because without that piece and that peace nothing else works.
Look across the table and ask “How is your mental health?” Be prepared to open up with a discussion of your own.
I have recently asked it just this way to my children. After the weird look on their faces disappeared, an interesting discussion followed. Silence solves nothing.
Give it a try.
We can make change one dinner table at a time.