Honestly, I wasn’t going to post anything for awhile until I revamped my site, etc. but as I was writing a status on Facebook in regards to this tragedy, I realized I had a lot to say and I cannot be quiet about it.
I was born in Taiwan and my family currently all still live there, which is probably why I’m quite affected by it. I first learned about this tragedy from my sister last night as I got home from work. My first response was, if my family was ok. Thankfully my family is fine but my heart goes out to those who have been injured and killed.
This morning, I checked the news for more information about what happened. I read The Globe and Mail article on the stabbing and it just broke my heart to learn that the man has been planning to do something big and shocking for awhile and that it started in childhood. I can’t imagine being the counsellor that reported nothing unusual, how hard it must be on them to know that someone they saw and didn’t suspect to do anything do something. I don’t blame the counsellor. I blame the society which shames those with mental health problems, the society that cares more about appearances then a persons well-being because that is what mental health is about, these people are mentally unwell. If you were sick, you go to a doctor, but in a society that care more about face, when you have a mental health issue, you are either told your crazy or to suck it up or they put you in a corner and hope nobody talks about you.
These are the reasons why we need to talk about mental health MORE. I said all of those things, because being an Asian wanting to learn psychology, I remember being told that I’d become crazy dealing with the crazies like it’s a bad thing. Luckily, that didn’t change my mind instead it opened up a forum of discussion within my family. I am very fortunate that my immediate family is not very traditional and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to grow up in Canada where mental health IS talked about at least more so than in Asia. I don’t know if I would have been able to have come out of my depressive episode if I had lived in Taiwan versus in Canada. To be honest, one of the factors that got me out was my hatred of being forced to see a school counsellor when I didn’t want to and it made me suspicious and distrusting of them. It made me want to change the system and thus, I started studying psychology and got hooked on it.
Back to the stabbing, I’m not sure what made the attacker attack nor am I sure if he had a mental health issue but from what I have read, it sounds like he did and he was calling for help. It reminded me of the story of the boy who cried wolf, we cannot forget that one of those times, the wolf might really be there. I won’t speculate what mental health problems the attacker might have had, but I hope it comes into light for all us Asian’s that it is OK to have mental health problems. Mental health problems aren’t contagious, you aren’t all of a sudden going to have a panic attack because you know someone who has a panic disorder.