THE ELEPHANT IN MY ROOM
Recently I made a donation to a non-profit organization which has grown to become one of the leaders in bringing Canadians together to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness by working closely with a variety of Nationally acclaimed and most-connected mental health services available in Canada. Their main objective in doing so is to provide a strong, cohesive voice to individuals suffering with a mood disorder/mental illness by helping to improve upon our access to treatment, to educate & continue research as well as to further develop & increase program availability & government policies. Through collaboration with their partnerships they are able to work on a wide-range of these projects and initiatives to help those suffering with often debilitating but treatable mental illnesses.
One such campaign they have developed is called “The Elephant In The Room” Anti-Stigma Campaign. The main purpose of this campaign is to end the stigma most often attached to mental illness which for many of us can actually be more detrimental to their well-being than the illness itself. The negativity, disrespectfulness, discrimination and judgment associated with a person having a mental disorder keep many, many people afraid to seek treatment or reach out to a loved one for help.
We have all heard the expression before “The Elephant In The Room” which signifies that there is a “major problem or controversial issue that is obviously present but avoided as a subject for discussion because it is more comfortable to do so.” Basically it’s what many people do when it comes to mental illness.
This campaign is trying to do the opposite of what the definition conveys by sending each individual who makes a donation an actual little, blue happy faced elephant to be placed anywhere you like in your home, your office, your car or even to carry it with you in your purse, briefcase or knapsack. I truly loved the powerful symbolism of what this little, blue happy faced elephant represents and couldn’t wait to have one of my own to let everyone know that when they enter my home it is a safe and stigma-free zone.
My elephant (seen in picture) is now proudly on display by my front door to welcome anyone who visits the opportunity to talk about whatever they need to without feeling any sort of negativity, discrimination and most of all judgment. It’s these small but powerful steps we can all take in ending the stigma together.