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Loyalist grad shares story about mental illness with students

By Jordan Merkley [1] and Sean McIntosh [2]

BELLEVILLE – A Loyalist graduate, who lost her job to mental illness, is now advocating for greater understanding and compassion for those who suffer.

Karen Dack, a former Loyalist College [3] student and author of three books, shared her story with students and faculty at a booth set up outside the Shark Tank Pub Wednesday.
“I think there’s still a lot of work to be done, because at the hospital they cut out your one on one counselling, and I was one of the patients who didn’t get my full eight sessions. On my third session the councillor said, we have to send you somewhere else,” said Dack. 
Here’s Dack on the stigma that comes with mental illness.

Dack said that her illness has been very debilitating at certain points in her life.

“I lost my career over the depression after the work changes. I wasn’t able to adjust and I developed panic and anxiety and depression. That was very hard hitting I had to really find out who I was at a person, because I had my whole identity wrapped around what I do, instead of who I was, so that was a big challenge,” she said.

The booth was part of Bell Let’s talk day [4], a day to discuss mental health and raise awareness.

Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health [5] initiatives for every bell text sent, every phone call made, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and for every share of their image on Facebook.

Since 2010, Bell has committed over $67.5 million to support a wide range of mental health organizations across Canada.

Loyalist student, Maria Clemente, a mental health ambassador, joined Dack at the Bell Let’s Talk information booth. This day is important to raise awareness about these issues, she said.

Loyalist student, Jessica Saint-Dic, speaks about the significance of Bell Let’s Talk day.