Out of the Blues: The story of Chris Burns

This is the story of Chris Burns.  A great friend and someone who I believe will be a huge part of the mental health movement in Canada for years to come.  His unique story and his fearless way of delivering it is amazing to watch.  This video follows Chris’ fascinating history, his battle with depression and ends with a message of hope for those who suffer.


Surviving Trixie: Heather Ashton

Surviving Trixie


Part I: The Joys of Dieting


Now that I look back at what I’ve written, it’s occurring to me how sick I really was. “What brings you to the ER this afternoon, sweetie?” The triage nurse looked at me with the most beautiful eye creasing smile. “An eating disorder, I guess.” I mean, I didn’t think I was that sick. I still could walk, I could still stand. But you see, thats the vile thing about eating disorders. They somehow deny you the fact that you are even remotely ill because theres no problem in being thinner, right? Everybody wants to be a size 0. Everyone wants to see there protruding collarbones. As far as I knew I was a perfectly normal teenager. Because everyone wants to be slim, right?


Walk with me: Kristin Foote

What is an RPN anyway?  Why wouldn’t you just become a real nurse? Aren’t you scared of working there?  Tell me some crazy stories!


These comments and questions are asked to me on a regular basis as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. I am a proud RPN at the Regina General Hospital on the Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry Units and a Casual Psychosocial Rehabilitation Worker with Phoenix Residential Society.


Ride Don’t Hide – June 22nd – Support the SK Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

We are excited that this awareness campaign and fundraiser is happening here in Saskatchewan for the first time, and couldn’t wait to get involved!  We have entered a team and are looking for riders to join us and ride for mental health awareness.

Spandex Thinking: Carleen Desautels

Yoga pants, jeggings, stretchy jeans and the comfy pajama bottoms that you keep for years.  When we put on these pieces of clothing we feel free and unrestricted, the shape of the clothes adjusting to the shape of our body rather than us having to adjust to the shape of the clothes.  All of these pieces of clothing contain some small amount of Spandex, in most cases as little as 5%.  The stretchiness of the threads allows the fabric to shift and move, making allowances for our bodies and making those yoga pants, jeggings or jeans the “perfect fit”.

Music and Addictions

Two of my favourite musicians open up about their struggles with overcoming addiction and substance abuse in the following videos:



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=”http://8tracks.com/understandus/tl-s-soundtrack” ]

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!