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"I love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be"

I wanted to take a moment and focus on a positive article (since I realize that most of my blogs are about challenging the ‘system’ and may come across as mostly pessimistic).  As many of us have already heard, the famous and much loved author Robert Munsch has recently spoken publicly about his struggles with cocaine and alcohol addictions. Mr. Munsch is not alone – there are many Canadians, and many people in our own city who struggle with an addiction. 

What I want to focus on today is an article forwarded to me by a coworker.  The article discusses Mr. Munsch’s addiction and struggle, but also talks about a parent’s discussion and openness with the issue while watching the news with her nine year old daughter. While many parents would not take the time to create an open discussion with their child around these kinds of issues, Rebecca Kendall saw the news coverage as a ‘teachable moment’ and spoke about Munsch’s battles with mental illness, alcohol and drug use with her daughter. 

Fueled by her own family history – growing up with a father who lived with a mental illness – she ‘recalls her confusion growing up at a time when people avoided the subject, or just resorted to mocking and labels’.  Rebecca commends Munsch for sharing his story – and for helping put a face to an issue that is often swept under the rug and just not talked about.

As we know, talking about mental illness and the struggles we face seeking treatment, finding the right treatment and maintaining our health is very important in order to reduce stigma and discrimination.  So my applause goes out to Rebecca for shedding some light, and also to Mr. Munsch – for having the courage to struggle publicly so that others may find the strength to reach out for themselves or someone close to them. 

What a great story for a sunny day!