Energize Don’t Hide Highlight: David S.


This blog post is written by Energize Don’t Hide Challenge participant, David S.

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I joined Energize Don’t Hide because I am fully aware of the cost for someone to get help. People should not have to choose between food, housing, and seeing a therapist for their mental health. I was diagnosed with social anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder (ADD) back in 2014 and was sent on a rollercoaster ride of divorce, losing everything from our house to friends, different prescriptions, and long waitlists to see someone in the government.

This is David’s second year joining CMHA Calgary’s Energize Don’t Hide Challenge!

The cost for a single visit for a private therapist is so far beyond the means of so many people. Everyone should be able to afford to get the help they need.

I will never tell someone that doing exercise will cure everything, but I can say it’s done so much for me and how it makes me feel. In 2016 I was at my lowest in my life. I did not care if I lived or not, and spent all my time either working or watching TV.

I gave up on life and myself.

In 2017 I started to exercise and over time, my life began to change. I have a great support system in place now.

I would never have walked into a fitness studio let alone a group class in 2014. Flash forward to 2022 and I am an active member of a gym and regularly attend group classes. I absolutely love the interaction with people who have the same passion.

I have come to know every corner and back trail in Fish Creek Park. Just getting outside, exploring and breathing it all in has done wonders for my mental health. Find what moves you and make you feel good and keep doing it over and over, for yourself without worrying what other people think.

I always say my mental health journey is like snakes and ladders—when you have a slip up and slid back down, all you can do is pick yourself up and keep moving forward. For me, exercise and getting out to the parks has made my slips a lot further apart and the slide back down not as far as the past.

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Our Peer Support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402 or through email at peer@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. We have teamed up with other Calgary agencies to help Calgarians quickly and easily access various counselling and social supports. Visit www.communityconnectyyc.ca, where you can book online for our Suicide Bereavement and Family Support Counselling, and other supports. If you prefer to still book through us, please phone (403-297-1708), or email (counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca)