July 21, 2022

Kyla Bernardo: A Conversation about Mental Health through a BIPOC lens

Kyla Bernardo: A Conversation about Mental Health through a BIPOC lens

Racism is a mental health issue because racism causes trauma. Every day, the BIPOC Community are exposed to far more trauma than those whose lives have not been devalued. On this episode of Humans, on Rights, Kyla Bernardo, M.Ed, CCC, CGE, CGP addresses the challenges that the BIPOC Community has getting help when faced with mental health issues. Through her deep knowledge of mental health and front-line work Kyla, who operates Purposeful Counselling, shares her family’s personal story about mental health and how the BIPOC Community can find meaningful resources without having to suffer financial hardship. You can find the resources Kyla mentioned below:

Brene Brown on Shame:

Author Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score

Paul Denniston - grief yoga website: https://griefyoga.com/free-resources/

David Kessler’s website: https://grief.com/10-best-worst-things-to-say-to-someone-in-grief/

Nine Circles Community Health Centre: https://ninecircles.ca

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Racism is a mental health issue because racism causes trauma. Every day, the BIPOC Community are exposed to far more trauma than those whose lives have not been devalued. On this episode of Humans, on Rights, Kyla Bernardo, M.Ed, CCC, CGE, CGP addresses the challenges that the BIPOC Community has getting help when faced with mental health issues. Through her deep knowledge of mental health and front-line work Kyla, who operates Purposeful Counselling, shares her family’s personal story about mental health and how the BIPOC Community can find meaningful resources without having to suffer financial hardship. You can find the resources Kyla mentioned below:

Brene Brown on Shame:

Author Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score

Paul Denniston - grief yoga website: https://griefyoga.com/free-resources/

David Kessler’s website: https://grief.com/10-best-worst-things-to-say-to-someone-in-grief/

Nine Circles Community Health Centre: https://ninecircles.ca

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


This podcast was recorded on the ancestral lands on Treaty One territory, the traditional territory of the Anishnawbe, Cree, Oji Cree, Dakota, and the Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis nation.

This is Humans, On Rights. A podcast advocating for the education of human rights.

Here's your host Stuart Murray.

My guest today is Kyler Bernardo now she's got a lot of initials behind her name, Masters of education, I know that one, she has C c c C G E and C G P, which we're going to find out what all of those things mean.

But I was intrigued to find out that in the United States they refer to july as bipac mental health month and I can't find any research to say that that takes place in Canada in terms of the name of the month.

What I do know however, is that the lens of mental health through somebody who looks at it from a bipod perspective is not about a month, it's about a lifestyle and it's about challenges and it's about issues and when I was looking to do an episode for humans on rights, specifically focusing on mental health through a by park lens, I spoke to a wonderful person that I had another conversation with on humans on rights, the executive director of nine circles community Health center mike pain.

And I asked him if he could direct me to somebody who could talk about their experience what they're working on and what they see and share with the listeners to humans on rights, the issue of mental health from a buy park lens.

And so today I want to welcome Kyla Bernardo to humans own rights, thank you for having me.

I'm really honored to be here.

I remember when I was approached by chance to put my name on kind of that by a park mental health list.

I I thought it was an excellent idea because I know the struggle in looking for a mental health provider with the knowledge or the experience of cultural backgrounds.

So I am first generation Filipino Canadian.

My parents immigrated here from the Philippines in kind of their late teens, early twenties.

And so I think that it's important that the cultural perspective in therapy is acknowledged because it makes a huge difference in people's lives.

And I remember one instance when I was working in crisis services again, kind of predominantly white people in my role and in kind of like psychology psychiatry role.

I remember one client, specifically Filipino who came up to me and said, you know, like thank you for doing the work that you do because it's especially in my culture, it's it's taboo to talk about mental health.

And so she she basically thanked me for being there which made an impact on me and it made a huge difference.

I know that what I'm doing, like I I chose the right field for myself like this, this is what I want to do.

This is what I wanted to do for a very long time and just kind of hearing her say that and having since being on the bipod mental health provider list, having specifically Filipino clients reach out to me because they want somebody with lived experience and knowledge and even kind of people who I have known throughout my life saying, hey, do you know somebody who is east indian or you know color that I can talk to because again, if you look at where therapists kind of advertised for themselves psychology today, The majority of the folks on there are white and female, there's maybe 3-5 pages of male therapists, but even just kind of bipod therapists is very little and so it really limits people seeking out help.

They don't look like me.

So I don't, I don't feel comfortable talking to them.

So Kyla, you mentioned that you knew that you know, helping people from a mental health perspective, particularly from a bipod perspective is something you knew early on that you wanted to do.

But let's start sort of at the beginning, you were born in Canada, your parents immigrated here from the Philippines.

Did you do all of your schooling in Winnipeg?

Yes, Yeah.

And where did you go to school?

I went to my elementary school, flash high school.

Like I went to a small private Catholic school for my entire K to 12 years and it was actually in high school that I realized a lot of my friends turned to me for advice or want me to listen to their problems and like I felt like this is something that I could do, like I enjoyed that.

Then I went to the U.

Of M.

Again kind of in my culture, you know parents immigrate for kind of a better life and so wanting to make sure that their Children have a better life and so kind of being pushed into medicine or nursing or like fields that are guaranteed decent pay, good work, all that sort of thing.

And I knew right away that I wasn't going to be a doctor Matt was not my strong suit biology, like any of the sciences were into my strong suit.

So then I said a little nursing and then that didn't go so well I failed kind of like those initial courses and kind of again numbing my internal kind of I want to go into psychology, I want to go into counseling at that time.

I didn't know that I could go into the master's of counseling psychology but I knew kind of that was what I wanted to do and so I was talking to some guy and he mentioned that he was a volunteer with T Touch which is kind of a helpline organization that's no longer available but help an organization that helps people they call in and you kind of helped them through their issues.

So I did the training for that and was like I remember just simply thinking like if I could do this and get paid, I'm set and then kind of went for I'm there and I know like my parents kind of didn't encourage it like doing my Bachelor's and Arts with a psych major.

Well what are you going to get with that?

Everybody has the psych major, like what kind of job are you gonna get all those questions right, Really interfering with kind of my inner voice saying this is for you, do this, luckily I had a friend who kind of went down the same path as me.

So I kind of followed her path.

She did a post back, went through that in my at the time it was called Masters and guidance and counseling and then they changed it to counseling psychology because it's through the faculty of education but I'm not a teacher, I don't have my bed, I can't work in a school.

So I think they changed it to counseling psychology to open up to other qualifications.

And so then from there kind of did all the kind of school work practice and stuff and then I decided to volunteer at clinic clinic with a K.


Big kind of organization here and want to pay around dropping counseling because I wanted to get that one on one experience that I wasn't provided in my practicum experience.

So I sought them out and it's a very intensive kind of training program for I think it's two months and there, it reinforced this idea of I am doing what I want to do.

Like this is what I want to do.

And I want to help people work through their problems, help them realize their strengths and then just go from there.

And so that solidified like this is the right path for me and never turned back from that.

I just want to touch for a moment back when you were in high school and you know, people were coming to you to share their thoughts or get advice or just use you to listen to some of the concerns, issues, thoughts they had at that time when you were in school, were you in a fairly multiracial environment or were you dealing with a combination of people that were mostly white.

What just give me a sense of what you were experiencing that point that you started to get interested in.

I'll just use the term counseling because you were, you were listening and maybe giving advice.

So I'll just use the term counseling.

So it's interesting because all throughout my elementary, the school is in the south end of Winnipeg, predominantly white in my class specifically, there's probably two other Filipino students, one other chinese students and one kind of East indian students.

So throughout my kind of elementary junior high schooling, like I felt like I was white, Everybody looked at was white.

Like I didn't see the difference, it wasn't until grade nine that there was this influx of a lot of kind of folks from the Maples area coming to the school.

And so a lot of east indians, a lot of Filipinos came to the school and that's when I was just like, oh, it's not just white kids here, right?

Like, and that's why.

And it kind of became more diverse.

And now my daughter actually goes to that school.

She's gonna be in grade one in september.

And it is such a culturally diverse.

It continues to be a culturally diverse school.

It is kind of a private catholic school, but a lot of the students aren't catholic there.

I feel like in my daughter's class, maybe there's like five Children.

Like it's very different now.

And so there's always been this kind of thing in the back of my head around identity and where you come from.

And, and honestly, it wasn't until this anti asian hate movement that came up during the pandemic that I really started to focus on differences and owning that.

You know, it's okay that I had this different experience growing up and people's cultures played a role in who they are as people.

And it wasn't until fairly recently that prioritizing by park or just kind of differences has been part of who I am.

And maybe a year ago I started as a therapist in a clinic that primarily serves newcomers and refugees.

And with that role again, really forced me to kind of be that person to tell my colleagues and my manager can newcomers attend this program really advocating for the newcomer population because you know, there's set kind of organizations that help them, which is great.

But then at after about a year or two of being in the city, they can access other organizations.

But because there's this set organizations that help them, do they feel resistant to expanding to other organizations and reaching out to other people.

So I took it upon myself and my team to really kind of be the squeaky wheel around.

Can these groups be for newcomers?

How can we modify these groups for newcomers?


So it wasn't until very recently that I started thinking about all of these things, Kyla when you were in high school, did you ever feel a sense of racism or discrimination at a younger age?

And I ask you that because you know, I'd like to get your sense of it obviously.

But then I looked at it and say that when you look at how you have deeply immersed yourself in understanding the differences in the importance of a by pop culture from mental health.

When you look back, do you sort of see something different or do you say no.

When I look back I realized what I was dealing with or what was happening to me at the time when I was in high school.

I think there's something that I've noticed a lot Is this internalized racism or kind of racism within the culture because of colonial ization.

This idea that lighter skinned Filipinos and this is very common even in people that come from India, right?

Like this idea of lighter skin is better because, you know, kind of the Western ideal, right?

Like more of this kind of internalized cultural racism versus overt racism because I'm visibly different than white people are visible minority, right?

Like I don't recall any instances of racism per se, but I know that there was very much this idea of, especially from the folks that came from the Maples area to the south end like, oh, you're very whitewashed, like this distinction of, you're not filipino enough because of where you grew up and who you surrounded yourself with and the way that you talk and and things like that, that I remember very distinctly like that difference.

So more of racism within the culture, right?

And so very judgmental, right?

I mean, there's a lot of judgmental aspects about trying to figure out, you know, who perhaps is if I can use these terms and please correct me if it's if it's wrong Kyla, but it's almost who's more filipino you or somebody else depending on how weight or your complexion.

Maybe when both your parents could very well have come from the Philippines.

So let me Kyla ask you as you talk a little bit about your university, you've got a master's in education to get your masters degree.

Did you write about a particular area of mental health or what, what did you do, your paper that got you your master's degree?

What did you do that on?

So I wrote a paper on a lived experience of having a loved one with mental health issues.

So my brother struggled with mental health concerns at about the time that I started university.

And so I was really focused on kind of the effects of some of these mental health diagnosis on the family as it relates to potential eventual caregiving role as one gets older because a lot of mental health resources focuses on the person, which is 100% fair, I think recently now there's there's more of a push to incorporate the family because I remember when this happened with my brother, I was clueless, like I had no idea what was going on, whether, you know, that was my parents kind of keeping me at a distance so that it didn't interfere with my schooling or whether kind of the system was created that way so that it was just specifically for my brother, right, Because he, he was an adult at that time.

So as a person who has a sibling with mental health concerns, how how do I help, how do my parents help them?

And so that's kind of something that has always been a big part of my work is also incorporating family members into discussions if needed.

And I know there's kind of a push for mental health to start incorporating fam into assessments and getting collateral information and, you know, family members being able to talk to the doctors or even psychiatrists about their concerns about the individual.

So it's starting to get better.

But again, resources for family members struggling with a loved one with mental health concerns is very limited.

And did your brother live at home?

Yeah, he did.

Yeah, he still does.

He's on his meds now.

He's working like everything is great with him.

Like, there was struggles throughout and these are like, typical struggles with mental health.

Like, I don't need to take my medication because I'm feeling better.

Well, actually, you have to take medications for the rest of your life, right?

So, those kind of struggles with mental health and, kylie, if you can share a bit personal, because it's talking about your brother and your family, but you mentioned that mental health was just something that you don't talk about.

You know, it's kind of from a family perspective.

I mean, you do now, but I'm just talking about early stages and I'd have to say that that is across all cultures, in my opinion, mental health is one of those, you can't see it, you know, somebody has a broken arm here and a sling feel sorry for that person.

You know, you give them lots of tender loving care and space and how are things etcetera, You know, a mental health issue is just not visible and so how did your family start to deal with the fact that your brother was dealing with mental health issues?

I think it was very hush hush.

There's this idea of like, I don't want to worry you, so I'm not going to give you information yet at the same time as an 18 year old, 19 year old, like I like I consent something's wrong and you're not telling me.

And so at least in the filipino culture, I feel like there is this common kind of like information with whole thing, so as not to create concerns so as not to worry, I don't agree with it, it's important to share information just so that we're all on the same page, it's pretty hard to help somebody if they're trying to keep something from you, it's pretty hard to engage and say how can I assist.

I mean it's a family member, I remember that being very overt, like, oh it's okay, everything will be okay not kind of letting other people know or like other family members know this idea of religion and just praying about it.

It's gonna help for me.

It was very odd.

I mean I went to a catholic school my entire life, like I get praying, but this is not helping.

And so that was kind of, my mom's coping is she prayed and that helped her?

My dad kind of stuck to himself.

Didn't open up also.

You know, probably came from a generation where you don't talk about your feelings or emotions or whatever.

So was there a Kyla trigger that ultimately your parents decided to seek help for your brother?


Well he's acting very not like himself.

So I'm not sure if you're familiar with early psychosis or not, but early psychosis, you know, it's almost like a precursor to schizophrenia where sometimes there's beliefs that are so kind of out there and I remember seeing this and I like this is so not my brother again kind of with a lot of issues, he became violence.

So we had to call the police.

That is what kind of got him into kind of the mental health system and getting help because it was just so far from who he was that we knew he needed help.


Thank you for sharing it.

Just you know, as we talk about and we're going to get more into conversations about mental health and different cultures and the impact it has on different cultures and how you know, somebody like you who is involved sort of on the front line and what you're working on.

I want to get their Kyla, but I did say at the outset, you've got some initials behind your name and I'd love you to just give us a quick explanation.

So let me go through now.

M E.


I believe as master of education, I think I got that one cc C.

So triple C.

What does that stand for?

Canadian certified counselor?

And is that specifically around mental health or just counseling as a profession, counseling as a profession?

So the C C C designation comes from the Canadian counseling and psychotherapy association.

So the CCP A.

The reason why this is important is because there are provinces in Canada that have regulated the term counselor and there are provinces in Canada that haven't.

And so Manitoba is one of those provinces that hasn't regulated the counseling profession and it's in the process of it from what I've heard because anybody can call themselves a counselor in Manitoba.

So yeah, so the C C P A.

Is working on regulating that across the board.

So that's one.

So I got two more here.

So C G E.

So C.


Is a certified grief educator which is of course that I took with David Kessler who was a world renowned grief expert.

And he worked with Elizabeth Kubler Ross who was an expert in death and dying.

So he started this last year, this kind of grief educator program to really kind of educate the population on grief because one of the things that he mentioned is that we are really essentially a grief illiterate society.

And it's one thing that isn't inevitable, like everyone is going to experience it and yet we don't talk about it.

And so I decided to kind of go that route to help with my clients, my refugee clients because yes, they're dealing with trauma and they're also dealing with grief.


And then the last one as a designation CGP.

So certified grief professional.

Alright, So that's an extension of the grief counseling.


So really just kind of specializing in grief and loss again because it's something that's not often talked about, it's often kind of pushed aside after a certain amount of time goes by.


And I mean, I think that a lot of cultures look at grief as, you know, a sign of almost weakness.

You know, you have to be strong, you have to be tough, you have to work your way through this.

And, you know, grieving is such an important emotion for people to experience.

But, you know, somebody who grieves outwardly, I think for somebody who's watching that it's very difficult for them to know what to do through your training.

Would you have some advice for somebody that is looking for how they might help somebody who is quite emotionally grieving.

I would direct people to the David Kessler's website grief dot com on it.

He has things to say to somebody who's grieving and things that are not helpful.

That article alone is so important for folks struggling in their grief because there's well meaning people out there who say things like he's better off or whatever the platitudes usually are right.

And and some of those are really not helpful as well meaning as that person is coming from.

But I think what one of the things to say to somebody is that really sucks.

You're not gonna make it better.

You're not gonna make it worse, but just validating that experience of like this really sucks for you.


And what I'll do, Kyla is put his website into the show notes.

So anybody that wants to reference that they can read about it as opposed to just hearing it in passing.

So Kyla, one of the things I'd love to get your your sense on is, you know, the notion that mental illness doesn't discriminate.

And so why do bipod communities have difficulty accessing care?

I think the lack of knowledge of what is available.

I'm lucky in that I know the resources because I worked in this field prior to working in this field, I just kind of looked it up when my family was going through kind of that upheaval around what was happening with my brother.

I was in university.

So I had access to counseling through the university.

Some people just don't know what is available or they're afraid to ask because of culturally we don't talk about our problems to strangers.

It's not okay to do that.

What's in the family stays within the family.

So there's some internal kind of messaging that comes from, you know, within the culture.

But then again access to resources is also very questionable because some people don't realize doctors can refer to therapists, right?

Some people don't realize that there are a number of community resources that offer free or sliding scale services.

Those services will typically have a wait list, but they're available.

Some people just don't know what's available out there.

Some people think I have to talk to a psychologist.

That's the only thing that my benefits will cover as a psychologist.

Meanwhile, One session with a psychologist can cost $250 and a benefits package only covers $500.

So that's two sessions with a psychologist.

And what's that going to help?

You can't do much into sessions when the first session is mainly assessing, right?

And just just on that, I think it's important that we talk a little bit about the fact that you have a website or you have an organization called purposeful counseling.

It's an excellent website which again, I'll put into the to the show notes that people are interested in going to your website so that they can get a sense of what you do.

But I think that one of the challenge always is that I'm interested to learn from you kyla is that you know, when you look at trying to understand that there are issues around mental health that we all deal with.

But that there are specific issues from a bipod lens that make it more difficult to access.

And you talk about the fact that, you know, people aren't aware, but is there away from your your perspective or something you would like to see as a better way to ensure people know where those resources are available.

I think again, the only way to reduce stigma is to talk about it.

And so it's about getting people in the community talking and feeling comfortable talking about mental health issues and what they've struggled with.

I mean, it's the same thing when we see celebrities struggling with mental health issues normalizes, it makes people more likely to want to talk about it, right?

I think that's where the whole bell let's talk movement came from was having these olympians talk about their struggles and I mean it could be as small as in a mosque in a church group in, in in something, talking about, you know, mental health struggles.

I know one of the things that I've started to do in my job with kind of the newcomer population is working with an organization whose staff is all newcomers who've been in Winnipeg for about 2 to 3 years and really talking to them about anxiety, what that looks like depression, what that looks like and letting them ask me questions about what's helpful, what's not and that normalizes it for them.

And and my hope in doing that is then because they work within the community.

They work within families.

My hope is that they talk to their friends and their clients and families about what they've learned when talking with me and then somebody from their community then reaches out to their doctor who then refers them to me because when it comes from somebody that they know they're more likely to do and so you know, the purposeful counseling website, that's my private practice.

My private practice gets known by word of mouth, usually usually through client to see me at a good experience and want to recommend to their friends and it's in the talking about it that normalizes it for people.

And have you given public talks, you know about this um through your career, is that something you've had the opportunity to do?

No, no, I haven't done any public things.

So you're you're basically, I mean the way that I found out in the way that you and I are chatting today, Kyla is you know, because of chance at nine circles.

I mean I reached out to mike first and then he chance basically gave me your name and when I went on to the nine circles website they have a list of resources so that people are looking for assistance from the bipod community probably, you know, one could even say the whole L G B.

T Q two plus community also you know looking for resources to go to.

So that that also is a very robust website that they have on, on nine circles Kyle, I wanted to just ask a couple of things you mentioned as your community volunteer experience, that you were a drop in counselor at clinic, which again i is a wonderful organization here in in Winnipeg, but you also did a couple of things under professional development and one of them I wanted to explore with you was sensory enhanced yoga for self regulation and trauma healing and it was a workshop that you did share with us, What was that all about?

The reason why that I was drawn to, that was a colleague of mine, she is an occupational therapist and she actually pointed me to this and we were working as therapists at the time in a in a brief treatment kind of model.

So whenever we came across trauma, it was very hard to do any sort of quote unquote trauma work in the six sessions or less, and I wanted to expand my toolbox of kind of coping skills to talk to clients about that didn't involve long term therapy, right?

And the bible on trauma in kind of the therapy field is the body keeps the score by Dr Gesell Vander Kolk, he's this psychiatrist in the states that connected the mind and body in this kind of trauma work and I think that that's important to remember, like a lot of people think that therapy is just talking about it.

But one thing that we all have to know is that the mind and body are fundamentally connected?

And so trauma is often held in the body, which means talking about it might not actually help.

And so with the yoga, their movements there that can help the trauma move through the body and not just stay stuck.

There's also grief yoga.

Again, there's only so much that you can talk about something but moving your body can also help move through emotions.

Expend some energy that's kind of stagnating.

Getting stuck in the body.

When I looked at the numerous things that you've done in your professional development, there's there's an incredible amount that you've done.

Your experience is deep, it is broad things like working with refugees what you need to know and do.

I mean it's of course you took but it's part of you to use your your term.

It's part of advancing or filling your toolbox with a lot of other sort of resources that you can help when you're dealing with people that you've got the training to understand how you can work with them to to move things through the issues that they're dealing with.

Would you say Kyla, since you became interested in the whole area of mental health, have you seen advancement that you would like to share?

Is there anything specific that you would say you mentioned, you know, let's talk by Bell a big corporation that that has done, I think some good work in this file.

But if you look locally, is there something you would say locally, there's been some really really good things that have happened.

I just get excited when people talk about mental health or I get excited when people say they're going to therapy and talking to a therapist because again, it's all about normalizing therapy, seeking help and getting help, right?

Like you said, mental health is very hidden.

We don't know what people are going through until they stopped doing what they're doing again.

Prime example is the whole like Shawn Mendez stopping his tour because of mental health reasons and wanting to focus on his mental health.

Like the fact that people are actually talking about it and saying, hey, I'm gonna do this for me is so important and I just think that anybody can seek out help.

I know a lot of people cost is a concern.

And I know a lot of private practice therapist who are willing to offer a sliding scale, right?

Like some people just don't ask because they don't know.


Is it fair to say that access to some of these resources are limited by somebody's financial ability to get access to them.

Oh, 100%.

And that's why I always talk about those organizations, community organizations that offer for your sliding scale or if you're a student, a university student, I know the U.



Has a counseling and career center and I know that um w has over a family therapy center on campus.


And and so it's kind of being aware of what's available to you.

And even as a university student, you know sometimes they buy into kind of the health coverage that also covers therapy.

You know people who work and have benefits.

It's worth checking to see your benefits if you have therapy.

Yes you can have therapy for psychology services but you may also have therapy for social work services as well.



No great advice, Kyla.

You know, we've been talking a lot about mental health, we've been talking about it through a bipod lens.

If there was one take away that you would like anybody who's listening to take away from you know with the value of saying I learned something, I really learned something that is specific around mental health from a buy park lands.

What what might that be the struggles that you're going through ultimately are not alone in that there's somebody who's been through that there's somebody who's known about it or you know help somebody else through it.

I know a lot of people who kind of start out their therapy career kind of being concerned about like well I never struggled with addictions, how can I help somebody in addictions and it's same thing with kind of cultural things I I've never had somebody who had to go to a residential school.

So how can I help them?

And you don't have to have lived experience, you have to be able to hold space for those people and for the people who are like, well, I can't talk to somebody who's never had an addiction before, think about it.

Maybe this person didn't have an addiction because they coped in a different way.

Maybe I need to see that for what it is.

Same thing with a cultural experience, maybe my therapist hasn't experienced this, but maybe they've heard about it before, issues within family dynamics of how parents kind of raised Children a certain way or I know in kind of South asian cultures favoring the sun over the female, right?

Like that experience, like the therapist doesn't necessarily have to have experienced that, but knowledge and awareness and the willingness to inquire about that advice for people looking is just be open, know that there are therapists there that could help you and maybe there are therapists that might be open and willing to learn from you.

Yeah, I appreciate that.

I have to last comments When is a question, you know, we talk a little bit about when you get high priced athletes or rock stars or musicians that are well known and they start to talk about, you know, you mentioned Shawn Mendez, you know, talking about the fact that he was postponing his tour to deal with some internal, some mental health issues and then that, you know resonates with people to sort of say, oh well if a guy like that or that sort of a rock star can have that, then maybe it's not so bad.

Or maybe I can see that what I'm dealing with, you know, might normalize it.

And I wanted to just explore with you the word normal.

Is that a word that shouldn't be part of our everyday conversation because you know, who is normal and what does to find somebody who is normal.

Again, I think that's why when we're talking about mental health and being in the mental health field, it's more about talking about mental wellness versus mental illness, right?

Like, again, there isn't a normal, but we want to make talking about mental health.


I think that's the biggest thing is a lot of people don't feel okay being vulnerable with some of these deep rooted things, you know, and it's it's about kind of acknowledging that yes, you're struggling with this and there's lots of people in this world that are struggling with this.

You're not alone.


No, I I want to just say that when I went on to Kyler Bernardo's website which is called purposeful counseling.

One of the headings that rate on your landing page is the words understand he'll grow, we can do this together.

And then you say that life isn't always easy and that's incredibly important statement, Kyla, but I would say that with your training and your background, the life isn't always easy part becomes a little bit more easy when they have a chance to spend some time to talk with you and other people openly about mental health.

So last word to you, Kyla Bernardo, what's your advice to anybody who may be looking at the fact that life isn't easy and I'm not sure what to do.

One of the things that comes to mind is burn a brown and when she talks about shame and how shames ultimate goal is to isolate.

And so the antidote to Shane is to talk about it.

If you're not talking to a therapist, that's that's fine, find somebody to talk to because when you're doing this in isolation, the stories that Shane is telling you, you start to believe.

But when you start to talk to somebody about it, they can start to balance it out and kind of say, hey, you know that story she is telling you is not accurate ideally talking to a professional would be helpful.

But sometimes it could just be as simple as talking to a friend who then might say, hey, I was talking to this therapist, maybe you should talk to them.

And again, it's that idea of feeling like you're not alone.

Somebody else knows this too powerful message.

And Brandy Brown again is another resource that will put into the show notes.

You've referenced a lot of people in this conversation.

You've been very open with your comments.

And uh I just want to say thank you for taking some time to share who you are, your lived experience and the way that you are there too.

To work with people, particularly in the bipod community, through mental health issues and that can only make us stronger and a better community.

So thank you so much for sharing your time with me today.

Thank you for having me.

I'm so honored to be able to talk about this because I live and breathe this and so to just be able to talk about it as big Humans on Rights is recorded and hosted by Stuart Murray.

Social media marketing by the creative team at full current in Winnipeg.

Thanks also to trick seem a bit you in music by Doug Edmond.

For more, go to human rights hub dot C.

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