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An open letter to anyone who needs it, now or in the future.

Maybe you’re worried. That’s ok. I’m worried, too. Ask almost anyone that knows me, they say, “Martin why are you so worried? Don’t be worried,” they say. Don’t be tense. And I try not to be, but I am. I’m worried about a lot of things, maybe you are too.

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Hi. How are you doing?

Are you new? How are your classes going?  How are your classes going even if you’re not new?

Maybe you’re worried. That’s ok. I’m worried, too. Ask almost anyone that knows me, they say, “Martin why are you so worried? Don’t be worried,” they say. Don’t be tense. And I try not to be, but I am. I’m worried about a lot of things, maybe you are too.

I want you to know that that is ok. You are ok. You are more than ok, you are essential.

Whatever you’re worried about, no matter how trivial you think it might be in the eyes of others, is important. And your opinions and experiences, those are even more important, they — and most of all you — have worth.

The past year has been kind of grim. There’s been a lot of violence, both at home and abroad, marginalized peoples are trying to shed their oppression, others feel unfairly targeted — I think it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of dissatisfaction in the air. And this affects us personally, regardless of where you stand on any one issue. Maybe it manifests itself in the form of anger, or anxiety, or outrage. Perhaps this has you thinking, Wow, the world is kind of a shitty place.

You’re not wrong, it could be a lot better. Why do I bring this up? Because if this is where you’re at, overburdened by work or social pressures or feeling helpless, you are not the only one being affected. Whatever your stresses and burdens might be, there is always something that you can do about it. You always have options.

I’m going to ask that if you ever feel as if taking your own life is an option you might take, to please reconsider. And remember there is always somebody to talk to. Because, believe me, as bad as things might seem, your presence in this world is more valuable than any problem, any social strife. If you are here we can help it. Here are three facts, courtesy of the Canadian Mental Health Association:

20 per cent of Canadians will experience a mental illness at some point in their life.

49 per cent of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about it.

Mental illness can be treated effectively.

You are not made less by seeking help. You are not worth any less despite any struggle you might be dealing with.

Know that you are wanted.

The CrisisCentre hotline number is 1-800-784-2433

Their mental health support line is 604-310-6789

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