I have spoken to so many people of late that do not listen to the news anymore because of all the doom and gloom.  I have often thought why we don’t have a news station that just broadcasts all the positive things in the world?  So on that note, here is a true story about a stranger’s kindness!

Senator Patrick Brazeau was the National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and was called to the Senate in 2008 and is a vigorous advocate of accountability, responsibility and transparency in Aboriginal affairs.  He served in the Canadian Armed Forces, holds a diploma in Social Sciences and has studied law.  He also suffers from mental health issues.  He is also incredibly brave to speak out on his suicide attempts to help others, particularly men and boys but especially indigenous men and boys!

He attempted suicide 3 times when he had given up on everything and everyone around him.  He was fortunate to have family and friends to fully support him but it was a total stranger who made him realize that life was worth living!  A surgeon at the Hull hospital came to see him after coming out of a medically induced coma.  The surgeon asked Patrick what he was doing in that hospital bed and that he was lucky to be alive.  He also said “You’re better than that” and that Patrick had so much to contribute to this world and to keep on fighting!  This spurred Patrick to admit himself to a psychiatric ward and over the next 2 years helped him process the events that led up to his near death experiences.

Sometimes all it takes is genuine human connection, even between strangers to help someone who is in crisis.  One in five Canadians will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime.  Stigma is the main reason those suffering from a mental illness don’t seek help.  There is no shame in asking for help when you need it.

Who can you reach out to and just hold space for them and listen?  We can all make a difference, we just need to be aware of the changes in our friends and families disposition and just ask them “are you okay?  I am here for you!”

Colleen Saunders is a 20 year veteran in the mortgage industry, serving Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington and Toronto and offering all mortgage related services such as 2nd mortgages, private mortgages and more.

To contact Colleen, please fill out the form on  www.mortgagesbycolleen.ca  or call 416-459-2406

Sen. Patrick Brazeau: How family – and a stranger’s kindness – made life worth living