Masset Magic: Got anxiety? Help is here (and a wedding, too)

The free LifeLife App can connect you or a loved one with 24/7 crisis centres across Canada, including direct access to chat, text, and email crisis help. It’s available on Google Play or the Apple App Store. (LifeLine Canada Foundation)

By Jana McLeod

Well, the first week of school is done and we’re all probably going about our busy schedules. When I was a student here (and to answer my eldest’s question: no, I did not play with the dinosaurs at recess) I remember being terrified. I lived in a time where anxiety and depression weren’t as openly discussed as now. The way I handled it early on was to lash out and be intimidating. Later it presented as self destruction.

As an parent, it’s a very helpless feeling to watch your children experience the same difficulties. I believe the best approach is prevention, so at home I really try to teach inclusion and acceptance. I have also spoken to teachers about mental fitness explaining how things may look to someone struggling.

In my opinion, anxiety has blown up in the last while or we are talking about it more. Either way it’s not a fun thing to deal with. Depressed people are not lazy and anxious people aren’t rude. If you or someone you know is having a rough time please seek assistance.

There really is an app for everything! The LifeLine App is a free suicide prevention and awareness app. If face-to-face is too overwhelming, this can alleviate the stress that kind of contact may bring. Sunday, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and our dialogue about this taboo subject is life-saving. Perhaps you disagree that a column can be a platform for this kind of information, but the more open we are, the less power the stigma has.

Locally, you can access support from the health centre in Old Massett by dialling 250-626-3911 and speaking with Monica Brown about what service will benefit you. At school, any teacher will know what is available for students.

Not to brag, but I am on a first-name basis with the off-island pharmacist. We don’t have a local go-to person for our prescriptions so I suspect he is familiar with many of us. Masset can finally meet Richard! A notice about FNHA joining PharmaCare might have prompted confusion — he should have some information on that and can shed light on any questions you may have about your medications. He is here from Sept. 12 to 15. Just call the hospital at 250-626-4702 and follow the prompts to connect you to a person.

Communication and having a say in how your community can serve you and your family is very valuable. I never turn down an opportunity to let people know what I think. And of course I vote, so I have the right to complain around. Tow town is welcome to a meeting with Gwaii Trust about the “Vibrant Haida Gwaii Communities Initiative Fund.” It’s at the Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

There is no tailor-made coping mechanism so do what works. For me that’s writing. I started a blog and if you would like to read it I can send a link to you. Another trick is to do something that scares the hell out of me, so I will be getting hitched Saturday. If you consider me or Ken friends, please come celebrate with us since my invitations are laying in the back of the van. It’s at 2 p.m. in the Skidegate small hall, and the dance is at 9 p.m.

Last and not least I would like to say congratulations to my son Joshua McLeod on his new job as constituency assistant for both Nathen Cullen and Jennifer Rice. He pounded the pavement and his hard work paid off.

God bless and take care

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