11 years on – World Suicide Prevention Day

Cars For Hope Honda

Today is World Mental Health Day. That means it has been 11 years since we put the words Cars For Hope on the side of our Honda Integra and went racing to tell the story of our friend Annabel.

Was it messed up that Annabel didn’t want to get better? That she didn’t want to be here anymore? Yeah it’s totally messed up. We’ve spent the last decade trying to better understand all of this. Annabel didn’t come out of the womb an evil person, she came out of the womb a beautiful baby girl, who unbeknownst to her, had a couple of wires crossed.

Depression is a degenerative disease. It can be deadly. And it’s no different than cancer. And she got it. Why? Luck of the draw. The hardest part of having the disease of depression or anxiety, aside from having the disease, is that no one in the world sees it as a disease. They see you as selfish. They see you as weak. They see you as cruel. They see you as destructive. They think, why should I give a shit about her if she doesn’t give a shit about herself or anybody else? Why does this girl deserve my time, my patience, my sympathy? Right? All reasonable questions and responses.

But luckily, if you are an Annabel, you aren’t the only person on this planet who lives with this disease. There happens to be people like me and an entire community, who understand that — you aren’t all that bad. And we won’t encourage a binary ‘ok or not ok’ thinking about mental health. Underneath all this chaotic energy, you’re probably a really nice person. And that’s why for the last 11 years, it has been an absolute honour to remind you that hope is real and that recovery is possible.

We’ve seen people stay close to the things they love and taking the brave steps towards help and healing.

Heard from people sitting across from their doctor or counsellor for the first time.

And we will continue to drive towards to end of mental health stigma, despite the fact that sometimes you don’t want to get better.

It is our hope that you, never, ever, give up.

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The Cars For Hope movement is a dream come true. It’s been an amazing ride since 2011 and a privilege to bring my heart to work every day. I get to wake up every day and write things that I really believe and say things that I really believe. I get to be creative trying to encourage people and move people to know that it’s okay to be honest and that it’s okay to ask for help. And the other part of it is I get to hear the best stories and compliments, sometimes even people saying they’re still alive and getting help because of the work that we do. It’s so incredibly humbling and encouraging.

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