By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have—or have had—a mental illness.– Canadian Mental Health Association
I am among 50% of Canadians who has struggled with mental illness. It’s not easy to share that and write it so publicly but I know the importance of removing the stigma around openly talking about mental health – in general but especially in the South Asian and Muslim communities which I belong to.
Art for me is often tied to mental health – in terms of art as a form of self-care, in the way in which my mood and the state I’m in often influence my art, and even have become the subject of it several times over the years and in my desire while I was pursuing my art degree to go into art therapy as a career (before deciding on teaching instead). It’s also come up recently in the form of anxiety and imposter syndrome around sharing my art regularly, submitting work to open calls, and promoting my art and business. It can be debilitating at times and is something I’m still struggling with and working through. But I hope that by sharing here I can
So I will also be sharing here in the hopes that I can continue to challenge stigmas around mental health and also to help normalize these conversations and reach out to those who may need to be reminded that they’re not alone.