I had the opportunity to meet Cierra a few weeks ago for an event called Songs of the City. At this event, the United Way and other amazing organizations were celebrated for the incredible work they do in our communities. Cierra and 4 other brave individuals courageously shared their inspirational stories, and a song was written and performed for each of them in their honour. I had the privilege of being chosen to write Cierra’s Song, which we performed together at the event. After being so moved by Cierra and her story, I knew I wanted to feature her in a Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Edition !
As many of you know, today is Bell Let’s Talk day – a day where we start the conversation to help end the stigma surrounding mental health. Since this is a Boss Lady Buzz about Cierra, I won’t dive into Bell Let’s Talk too much, but if you are curious what it’s all about or you want to know how to get involved today, please check out this post about Bell Let’s Talk day!
Cierra Carleton –
Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Day Edition
In addition to being an amazing, well-spoken, beautiful, talented and intelligent young woman, Cierra is also a Youth Mental Health Advocate and has been working closely with Atlantic Wellness and other organizations like the United Way for a few years.
Cierra herself has faced the severe burden and struggles of mental illness, in the forms of depression, anxiety and disordered eating.
Imagine being fresh out of high school, and finally mustering up the courage to ask for help. Then, being turned away at the hospital by a mental health nurse who says that you can’t possibly be depressed based solely on your appearance.
I can’t imagine how devastating and discouraging that must have been for Cierra. However, instead of giving up, Cierra bravely pushed through and sought help at Atlantic Wellness, where she has been receiving counselling ever since.
It is so inspiring to hear her story of reaching out for help, and it blows me away that she has now decided to selflessly volunteer her time helping others. When I asked her why she has chosen to become a mental health advocate, this was her answer:
I became a mental health advocate because I felt like I could help people who were in the same position I was in. Most people have this idea of what mental illness looks like, but it’s not always that easy to see. There are many people who choose to hide how they feel and are extremely convincing. I want to show people that mental illness doesn’t just look a certain way and it effects everyone differently.
Cierra helps Atlantic Wellness host events for the community that are focused on mental health. These activities “promote safe spaces, building friendships through shared experiences and allow youth to practice exposure therapy to help with their social anxiety in a fun non-lecture type of way.”
Cierra was kind enough to share some insightful advice, and things that have gotten her through the tough times:
- Laughter really is the best medicine
- Turn to things that make you happy, surround yourself in things that bring you joy
- Put your emotions into your passions (poetry, songs, running, etc)
- Write it all down
- Join clubs and committees that you are truly interested in
- Change must happen in order to heal
- Remove toxicity from your life
- When asking for help, start with someone you trust
- Be honest about what you’re feeling
- Practice healthy coping strategies
Cierra’s Top 3 Reads:
- “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling
- “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling
- “The sun and her flowers” by Rupi Kaur
Her favourite quote:
If I asked you to list all the things you loved how long would it take to say yourself? – Unknown
Thank you, Cierra, for being courageous every day, and sharing your inspiring story on this Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Edition ! Make sure to go follow this amazing lady on INSTAGRAM!
If you would like to participate in Bell Let’s Talk and help end the stigma today, here are some things you can do RIGHT NOW:
During Bell Let’s Talk 2019 (Jan 30), Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian Mental Health Programs for all of the following interactions:
- Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
- Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk (including Retweets)
- Facebook: Every view/share of this Bell Let’s Talk 2019 video
- Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk
- Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk 2019 Snapchat Geo-filter
Please remember if you are struggling with mental health, you are not alone.
My past Boss Lady Buzz with Gina Marie also has valuable resources for those of you in Ontario.
Sometimes, we think that there is no help nearby, but if you do some research or ask trusted friends, you will find that there is always somewhere to turn for help!
If anything, you can always reach out to me if you need to talk.
Much love, Satisfy Her Soul.
Shop for the Books Mentioned Above:
(These shopping links will bring you to Amazon where you can purchase the books. If you do decide to purchase one, please note that as I am an Amazon Affiliate, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you).