An identity milestone: the end of my career as a nurse - cartoon graphic of a nurse with a syringe
Sense of Self

An Identity Milestone: No Longer a Nurse

I mentioned in a recent weekend wrap-up that this was coming, and now it's here. As of today, I’m officially not a nurse any more. This isn't an abrupt transition by any means. I've known this was coming for a while now, and I’ve already been through a shuffling of role identities. My nurse identity… Continue reading An Identity Milestone: No Longer a Nurse

Stop the Stigma

Stigma Enshrined in Law: An Open Letter to Government

An open letter to the Hon. Judy Darcy, British Columbia Minister of Mental Health and Addictions I'm writing to express my dismay that it appears that the Government of British Columbia does not intend to take advantage of the modernization of the Health Professions Act to remove section 32(3), which stigmatizes health professionals with a… Continue reading Stigma Enshrined in Law: An Open Letter to Government

The Wounded Healer Series from Mental Health @ Home
MH@H Community Features

Wounded Healer: Karoline (Not Broken–My Life with PTSD)

The wounded healer interview series features people who've dealt with significant mental health challenges, and who also work in a helping role to support the mental health of others. This interview is with Karoline of Not broken – My life with PTSD. 1) Tell us a bit about you, the helping field you’re in, and… Continue reading Wounded Healer: Karoline (Not Broken–My Life with PTSD)

chain of stones in the shape of a heart
My Life Journey

This Was Me: My Mental Health Nursing Career

This is the final post in a mini-series that's looked back at my past.  This post is a bit different because I don't have any photos to capture my mental health nursing career.  I became a nurse in 2004.  It was my second health professional career; the first was as a pharmacist.  This is a… Continue reading This Was Me: My Mental Health Nursing Career

The Wounded Healer Series from Mental Health @ Home
MH@H Community Features

Wounded Healers: Caz (Mental Health 360º)

Caz of Mental Health 360º is the first person to be featured in the wounded healer interview series, featuring people with significant mental health challenges who also work in a mental health helping role with others. Tell us a bit about you, the helping field you’re in, and the mental health challenges you’ve faced. I… Continue reading Wounded Healers: Caz (Mental Health 360º)

book cover: Spiders, Vampires and Jail Keys by Brooke O'Neill
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: Spiders, Vampires and Jail Keys

Spiders, Vampires and Jail Keys by Brooke O'Neill is a compelling story of one woman's life with bipolar disorder. Like me, Brooke is a nurse.  When she returned to work after her period of acute illness, she was able to have positive conversations self-disclosing to some of her patients who had bipolar disorder in addition… Continue reading Book Review: Spiders, Vampires and Jail Keys

Shifting identities - Venetian carnival masks
Sense of Self

Mental Illness Disability and Identity Shifts

mu; Role identity is a concept in sociology that refers to the identities that we build around the various socially defined roles that we fulfill.  Identity shifts can occur over time based on various factors, including the importance those roles play in our lives overall. Student was a key role identity for me for many… Continue reading Mental Illness Disability and Identity Shifts

Parliament building, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Stop the Stigma

The Health Professions Act and the Fight Against Stigma

As a nurse in my province (British Columbia, Canada), if I am hospitalized for mental illness then the provincial Health Professions Act requires the hospital to report me to the nursing regulatory college, and the college must treat this as a complaint about my fitness to practice.  This ends up with being offering the non-choice… Continue reading The Health Professions Act and the Fight Against Stigma

Adapting ambitions to life with mental illness - graphic of charts showing future projections
MH@H Mental Health

Adapting Ambitions to Life with Mental Illness

What were your ambitions for yourself when you were a kid?  Ballerina?  Astronaut?  President of the whole world?  When we get a little older, reality intrudes on some of the fantasies, and we make some adjustments.  Then maybe we get on track and things are chugging along just fine, and suddenly reality comes knocking again.… Continue reading Adapting Ambitions to Life with Mental Illness

Stop the Stigma

Legislated Stigma: Mental Illness and the Law

Stigma can be found in many places, even places where we might like to think it shouldn't be.  One such place where I have found it is in government legislation, hence the title of this post, legislated stigma. Mandatory reporting of hospitalized nurses As a registered nurse, my professional license is through the College of… Continue reading Legislated Stigma: Mental Illness and the Law