Sharing Your Story
Sharing your personal story of mental illness or mental health challenges is a difficult and courageous feat. If you or someone close to you is thinking of sharing their story for the first time, congratulations! Stories of personal experience, hope, and recovery are often the most impactful aspects of youth summit events and go a long way in changing the stigma that surrounds mental health.
Sharing your personal story is a process that begins long before the day you choose to speak, and in order to feel comfortable with that process we suggest you take a look through the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) Headstrong Sharing Your Story toolkit. You can find guiding questions, exercises, and helpful information to guide you through this process. Sharing your personal story is supposed to be a positive experience for you, and going through the preparation process can help make that possible.
To start, here are a few tips to keep in mind along the way:
- Your health and wellness comes first. Make sure to always check-in with yourself along the way.
- You’re the expert! You get to decided what you’re comfortable and not comfortable sharing.
- Take your time. The process goes at different speeds for different individuals; the best time to speak is when it feels right for you.
- Make sure you have supportive individuals by your side throughout the process.
- Make time to debrief. Speaking can be an emotional experience, so checking-in once it’s over is an important step.
- Be proud of yourself and enjoy!
If you’re currently looking for speakers for an event in your school or community, please visit our Speakers section of the Balancing Our Minds site!