My Recipe: Carleen Desautels

I like to be comfortable. I don’t like putting myself out there especially when there is ANY risk of looking stupid or failing. I don’t like taking risks. I prefer to know what is going to happen next and having my surroundings in order.  I like to be safe and sound and snug in my comfort zone.  I also know that, although comfortable now, my comfort zone will continue to get smaller and smaller until it will eventually becomes my coffin.  So my recipe for mental health involves pushing myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.  I think about the things that scare me or cause me to be uncomfortable, like doing something that I am not good at and might look stupid doing or messing up my system and then make myself get uncomfortable by breaking out of my comfort zone at least one time every month.  I must admit that I don’t always look forward to or enjoy being outside of that zone, but over time I have come to realize that some of my best experiences have been when I have pushed myself out.  I once heard a saying that Life begins outside of your comfort zone and for me; I think that this is an important place for me to spend more time in order to stay mentally healthy.

Which glasses do you wear?: Carleen Desautels

Understand is an action word. A verb that means to interpret the meaning, significance, explanation or cause of something, it demands that to understand we have to “do” something. But what is it that we have to do? I would propose that the do part of understanding is the ways we choose to look at things, people and situations that we aren’t familiar with, that are different than us. Differences are a part of our everyday lives. We have different tastes in clothes, different jobs with different demands. We look different, think different and act in different ways. Facing differentness is not an option, but HOW we face differentness is. When faced with things, people and situations that are different, ask yourself;

TL’s Soundtrack

I want to share the music of my life. Soundtrack for joy, relaxation, angst, fear, focus, reflection, love, dreaming …

The first mix will be songs that reflect the last 2 weeks of my life. Songs that helped me through, brought me joy, helped me focus, a desire to be vulnerable ….

Here’s my soundtrack …

[8tracks url=”” ]

ANTs: Carleen Desautels

Ants, how harmful can these tiny little insects really be? Just ask someone who has been bitten by a fire ant, named after the fire-like pain they leave with even a single bite. These seemingly tiny creatures pack a punch and have the potential to kill small animals and even humans who may be attacked by an army of these nasty ants. So you may be wondering why I am talking about insects here. Well just consider this, what if

Warm Hearts/Healthy Minds: Rachel Chapman

I am a 21 year old nursing student with the Saskatchewan Collaborate Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. I had the opportunity to be placed on the Regina General Hospital’s Psychiatric Unit this year for my third year clinical placement.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a confident student who works well in a fast-paced environment, and who excels in challenging situations.  After being on the cardiac unit at the General, I was unsure of my move to the mental health unit.  Don’t get me wrong; I have a great respect for mental health and those affected by it; being someone who has struggled with my own mental health barriers. However, it was not the unit I wanted to work in.  To me, I wanted to be able to stitch someone up, heal a wound or administer medications and send them on their way to a healthy recovery.  But those who struggle with mental health barriers and addictions will battle with it for most of their lives and I had difficulty grasping the concept of never being able to fully “heal” someone.  Little did I know, it would change me forever as a person.


Give Us some Mo!

UnderstandUs is getting involved in Movember!

We are so excited to support such a huge initiative for Mens Health.  We are sacrificing our upper lip and are asking you to celebrate with Us.  All through November if you Tweet/Instagram or Facebook your stache with the hashtag #UnderstandUsMo we will enter your name to win an UnderstandUs hoody on December 1.

Stay hairy my friends!

Invisible Pain: Jim Demeray

For the last 2 years I have been confronted with a question that I have never had a clear answer to.  The question is “Why”? Although this confronts me everyday I have underestimated the power in it.  I have realized that sometimes your body will put things in motion before your brain will even process the “why”.  Or maybe the answers are not always the prettiest ones.  Maybe it is because I never took the time to truly admit the “why”, or maybe there are so many reasons that I struggle to find the one deserving of a definitive answer.

The question is; why did I start a Mental Health foundation?…

Nothing More/Nothing Less: Samantha Johnson

Mental illness is stigmatic to most, due to the misunderstanding involved in it.  I am one of many who wish to offer people a different understanding.  My name is Samantha and I suffer from clinical depression.  I say ‘suffer’ because that is truly what mental illness causes: a daily struggle. Some days are better than others, in fact some days are wonderful; full of life and joy….


The Life Inside My hED: Edwardo Alvaro

“Dude, are you okay?” “How did you come up with that? – Are you on drugs?” – those are just some of the comments I’ve heard regarding my images. No I am not on drugs, and yes, I am okay. The images that I’ve created are a reflection of what was going on in my head at that point in time. A friend had asked me if everything was okay because of the dark nature of some of the pieces.  I replied that everything was okay, but little did I know that there were some underlying issues going on in my life that surfaced through my art. I was going through a stressful time, trying to start up and establish my career…

UnderstandUs Sessions Vol. 1: Insight by Elise Lussier

In the first edition of the UnderstandUs sessions, Independent filmmaker Elise Lussier explores the common reality of Mental Health barriers in society…

The UU Family

At UnderstandUs we are so excited to Launch our new website.  There are so many people to thank that I won’t begin to list them all.  But to all of those who have supported our initiative, offered their stories, let us into their classrooms, purchased our clothing, or spread the word on social media outlets; we are extremely grateful….

The Anxious Mix

This is a collection of songs that I wanted to share.  Music is a big part of my life and helps me unwind and relax.

[8tracks url=”” width=”669″ height=”502″ ]