Innis Inspiration – Brianne Katz-Griffin

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“I came into U of T with hopes that I would do my four years, go straight into U of T Law, and my life would fall together. When I was in my second year, I started to realize it was not going to be as easy as I thought it was. For some reason, prior to second year, things always seemed to fall in place. I quickly realized that my optimism was not enough to get me through university.

I first was diagnosed with depression when I was 14. I didn’t realize at the time that it was going to be an ongoing issue for me still at 21. When things are going well in my life, I feel fine. When things are not going well, it quickly turns. When I noticed significant drops in my grades, I started avoiding doing schoolwork. Avoidance is a coping mechanism for anxiety. My anxiety started taking over other aspects of my life and I struggled doing the tiniest tasks. There were days I was sleeping 14 hours on average because I simply could not get out of bed.

The reason why I share this story is because I truly believe the best way to address mental health issues is by talking about them because by talking, we bring awareness. Once we are aware of the diverse needs of people, we can better address the needs and create more support.

I also wanted to share this because many people (maybe even most people) I meet believe that I am a positive, outgoing person who wouldn’t struggle with mental health issues. What I’ve learned most through working with students is that even though a person seems like they have everything together, it is often a façade. Everyone struggles and we need to understand that. By understanding that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences, we can better respect and support each other. We are all students here; let’s support each other!”

 

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