You Are Not Alone

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You Are Not Alone

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This week is Mental Health week. Over the past few years, it has become easier to talk about mental health, thanks in part to Bell's "Let's Talk" day, to weeks, such as this one, where there is media coverage for it, and to the people who suffer from mental health issues who are writing books and talking to the public about their issues.

Many people suffer from some sort of mental health issue. But the most important thing to remember if you are strugging with it, is that you're not alone, and there is always help. 

Here are some books that will help you remember that:

Am I Sane Yet? by John Scully

Award-winning journalist John Scully has been committed to mental institutions seven times. He has been locked up. He has attempted suicide. Am I Sane Yet? is essential reading for anyone interested in depression and mental illness. John Scully is getting better.

Out of the Blue by Jan Wong

Jan Wong wrote a story that sparked a violent backlash, including death threats. For the first time in her life she spiraled into clinical depression. Her newspaper accused her of feigning illness and fired her; her insurer rejected her claim of depression; and her publisher refused to publish this book. She fought back.

Clickety Clack by Joy S. McDiarmid

To many, Joy McDiarmid was a successful Winnipeg writer and public relations consultant. In truth she was leading a complex double life. Behind an outer mask of accomplishment she battled in the twilight zones of mental health, sexual identity, and imprecise gender.

Solitary Courage by Mona Winberg

Solitary Courage is the story of a mother's tough-love determination, her severely disabled daughter's astonishing triumphs, and a documentary record of the political battles, organizational conflicts, and human struggles that citizens with disabilities face and fight every day of their lives.

Free as a Bird by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Born with Down syndrome, Ruby Jean Sharp lives at a time when being a developmentally disabled person usually meant growing up behind locked doors. When Ruby Jeans loving grandmother dies, she is taken to the Provincial Lunatic Asylum. It is here that Ruby Jean learns to survive isolation, boredom, and every kind of abuse.

Joy S. McDiarmid

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Joy S. McDiarmid

Joy S. McDiarmid trained as a research writer and successfully concealed her struggles with mental health issues while excelling in a career in public relations and communications in libraries, university, and private enterprise in Canada, the United States, and overseas. She lives in Manitoba.

John Scully

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
John Scully photo

John Scully

Journalist John Scully has covered stories in over 70 countries and 35 war zones. He has suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for much of that time. Scully is the author of Am I Dead Yet: A Journalist's Perspective on Terror. He lives in Toronto.

Mona Winberg

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Mona Winberg

Mona Winberg was born in Toronto with severe cerebral palsy. Supported by her mother's tough love, she learned to communicate, got an education, joined the workforce, enjoyed the dignity of ''independent living'' with support from family and service providers, and became a resilient public advocate for people with disabilities. She died on January 19, 2009.

Jan Wong

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Jan Wong photo

Jan Wong

Jan Wong is a journalist and professor. Her other non-fiction books are Red China Blues, Jan Wong's China, Lunch With Jan Wong, and Beijing Confidential. Jan divides her time between Toronto and Fredericton.