September 13, 2021

I Can’t Leave the Closet

Doug Lawrence

Is this your story?

It doesn't have to be!

I don’t know why society has labelled us as crazy. The more that I hear that I begin to believe that maybe that is the case. Maybe I am crazy. I have days where I just want to open the door and reach out hoping that there is someone there that would take my hand and offer to help me. There is so much darkness and I don’t feel that I can navigate it on my own. I just need one person to be there for me. Today there is no one, and yesterday there was no one. I am beginning to wonder if this picture will change. Will there be that one person who cares enough to take my hand and help me out of the closet? This is what I may have to face if I do come out of my closet.

“Each year millions of Americans with mental illness struggle to find mental health care. Nearly half of the 60 million adults and children living with mental health conditions in the United States go without any treatment. People who seek treatment must navigate a fragmented and costly system full of obstacles. As a result, many people cannot access mental health care when they need it most.” (

“According to the World Health Organization, around 450 million people currently struggle with mental illness, making it the leading cause of disability worldwide. Here at home, it affects more than 6.7 million of us. In fact, one in two Canadians have—or have had—a mental illness by the time they reach 40 years of age.” (

“Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in this country, preventing nearly 500,000 employed Canadians from attending work each week.

All in, the economic burden of mental illness in Canada is an estimated $51 billion per year including health care costs, lost productivity and reductions in health-related quality of life.

Opioid overdoses now account for more deaths in Canada than automobile accidents.

 The World Health Organization estimates one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds.

 Over 4,000 Canadians die by suicide every year—an average of 11 per day.”


 We need to know that there is help there, but we do need to reach out. I know that you have reached out in the past and no one was there. The demand for resources to help you navigate your healing journey is extremely high and yet we have not done much to increase the number of support people that can be there. We are not always listening and hearing what you want – even if it is someone to talk to that will listen and hear what you are saying. Someone that is non-judgmental.

I have found that a journey mentor can be part of that support structure. They can listen and hear what you are saying and do so without passing judgment. They will walk beside you as you continue to work on the healing that needs to take place. They are the hand that you reach out for as you make that decision to begin your healing process. They care and want your well-being to be a priority.

Let your journey mentor be there for you. It is okay to reach out and say, “I need help”.


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