Mental Illness – a taboo subject (Part 1)

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I had attended a charity mini concert by one of my very good friend, Monique last week.  It was to raise fund and more importantly to raise awareness of how important it is for all of us in our community to understand the mental health issues.  In memory of her late uncle who passed away due to mental illness last year, I am dedicating my blog posts for the next few weeks to continue the message to spread awareness of this issue.  I would like to focus on young people and their vulnerabilities.

The source of such tragedy may well lie at the doorstep of mental illness, a once taboo subject now thrust into the limelight of Hong Kong preying eyes.  Depression and many other mental health issues, demand our community’s dedicated effort and focus, with a special focus on our young people.  The helplessness of these young people is calling for all of us, as a global community, in addition to having compassion and empathy toward them, we must fight, on their behalf, for urgent attention and action from the public health system.

We have to move the curtain aside and shed light on mental issues, so depression, along with other crippling mental health issues can become a public policy debate and not something to hide away from.  Every country has people who suffer from this, so this must be a global effort. As long as we fail to realize the impact it has on our communities, this silent, yet deadly disease will strike at those we love so dearly.

To All the Mothers Who Had Lost Their Children

When our adorable newborn babies were first laid in our arms, we knew, as mothers, they were vulnerable and helpless.  We knew, as mothers, we were the only people whom they could depend on.

As our innocent children began their transformation to becoming teenagers, we knew, as mothers, they were immature yet strong minded.  Despite that, ultimately we knew, as mothers, we were the only people who would always be there for them when they tripped over themselves.

When our rebellious teenagers got over the hump into young adulthood, we knew, as mothers, that they were ready and prepared.  Us mothers knew when to let go so they could fly on their own.

This then begs the question: at what point can we say to ourselves that we have done everything in our power to love, support and be there for our children?   At what point can we stop blaming ourselves for anything and everything that happens to our children, even as they grow and they themselves have children and become parents themselves?

My answer to that question, as a mother of two adult children, even if I will always love and support them, I cannot be responsible for a decision that only they can make.  When they are at the crossroad (which we all have faced at some point), they are the only people who can make that choice. That crossroad is there to give them options about their lives, not mine.   I cannot choose the path that they will take themselves. Even though our children may seem like our responsibility till the ends of time, the choice was theirs and theirs alone. We, as mothers, are responsible for providing suggestions and guidance; for being the one they can work out issues with.  And making them understand this is already the best we can do for our children.

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Sandy Sinn-Hussey

Motherhood has been a long journey for me. Being a single mother for twelve years, I have learned the importance of mother and child's relationship. Raising children is a lifelong career and require patience, perseverance and love.

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