Updated: Feb 11
Once I believed that the truth would set you free. That proof and facts weighed more than unsupported statements and comments, and that mental health support existed.
Boy, I was mistaken.
Once I believed that in Nova Scotia, the Human Rights Commission fought for the rights and fairness of all protected characteristics. However, without a lawyer or a supportive advocacy group ‘roaring’ behind you, protective rights and justice does not exist.
Sadly, I will state that if you do decide to make a stand, know that you may stand alone. You may prepare, spend hours, have facts and proof to support your claim, yet your voice is not understood, cared about, or heard. You are the case to make go away because you do not have the power of a lawyer or the backing of a group. You become the ‘wrong’ one, the trouble maker, the whistleblower, the mental health case.
My experience has broken me. It has damaged my faith in goodness, in what is right, and for fairness for all. All voices are not heard. I do not think anymore that factual proof stands for something. Bias and stigma continue to blanket mental health. This protected right does not matter. It is easy to judge and say, ‘the person is unwell,’ gossip and share confidential information, stall, dismiss, and not make the person a priority.
Privilege can look white; it can be a respected organization; likeability, inside the box thinkers, money, and some privilege can look like a cause with a group of ‘roaring’ supporters. Who roars behind mental health in the workplace? Who is responsible? Who protects employees from triggering environments, bullying, and targeting?
I am facing another crossroads in my three-year journey. Do I make my story public or ‘forget’ and move on as life is too short for bullshit? To move on is the easier route as years of reliving the pain is heart-wrenching. You become numb to life.
Yet, what would the world be like if no one continued to move forward? Would things change? Sometimes things change, but at what cost and to whom? How many years does the ‘fight’ take, and how many hours and years does one lose? The putting off family because you need to prepare, research, and the days in bed trying to pull yourself out of the darkness is draining and costly not only to yourself but to your family.
The opposite side expects the stalling, the ‘no lawyer,’ and the continued pressure and strain on one’s mental health to result in the ‘giving up.’ There is truth in that. I have seen it and it will continue. The employee moves on and nothing changes.
What dedicated advocacy groups exist for mental health and wellness in the workplace? Who cares about the employee who struggles and their family? When will an organization alone advocate and protect a worker’s psychological health and wellness?
One can research the internet to find a massive amount of information about psychological health and wellness in the workplace and the importance of employers prioritizing and protecting employees and providing accommodations up to undue hardship. However, words in print mean nothing.
The statistics are staggering in Canada that speak to sick leave and employment loss due to a mental health issue.
Information found online is nothing when facing a respectable mental health organization in a small town. Once again, likeability, bias, and stigma carry more weight than facts.
I know, I know, it makes no sense- but that is my true experience.
I need to decide if I will end this nightmare and this fight or bring light to the entire situation publicly and ‘…to the basement.’