Awareness of Awareness Days

Mental Health is supported by consistent time to reflect.

I Googled “Awareness Days” and found examples from the ridiculous to beyond the sublime. Obviously, each search result will have its followers.

I think Awareness Days are most important during the infancy of its awareness. Good causes struggle to get noticed. It provides a platform to pull together limited resources, for a short time, on an issue of importance to some people. If the cause gathers support, there is a growth trap ahead.

The awareness is raised for 1 day. It will be challenging to move beyond limited general public support that is prolonged throughout the year.

Take Seniors Day, celebrated in Canada on October 1 every year, as an example. The pandemic has brought to our collective national awareness the unacceptable conditions that many seniors live in. Nothing brought this to our attention more strongly than the Canadian Army’s report on their experience in a long term care centre. It highlighted the physical and mental deficiencies of care.

The annual Seniors Day will change very little if all we do is go out on the street and bang pots for a few minutes. But this particular day can improve the lives of thousands of seniors.

First, let’s rename the day to focus on all citizens – “Accountability to Seniors” Day. The focus has changed dramatically to reviewing what we said we would address and our progress over the last year. Built-in is an expectation of our plans for the next year.

Likewise, with awareness days around mental health sponsored by various organizations, I’m optimistic the awareness and importance are successfully spreading beyond the single day concept.

The “Bell Let’s Talk” day is just such an example – January 28 of each year in Canada.

With well-known and respected folks coming forward to tell their story, the topic is coming out of the closet.

I’m leery of organizations that lobby for a specific solution without first canvassing a broad swath of stakeholders and presenting their findings. I need them to “show their work.” It isn’t sufficient to determine the answer. They need to also bring me along with their thinking. They need to be open to genuine collaboration and revising what a solution could look like and why.

The devil is in the details. A plan to go from where we are now to where we want to be, needs to get drafted and collaboration time spent. This time is not for convincing anyone to buy into the plan yet. It is time to make it even more realistic and aligned with most stakeholders. Otherwise, it will most likely fail.

Think of it as being similar to painting the interior of a house. Most of the time is spent on the prep work. The actual spraying, brushing and rolling is much quicker. The need to do another 2 coats of a different colour along that one wall… probably won’t be necessary

Please give it a bit of a think.

Regarding folks in long term care, how do you think this approach should be funded? Even better, are there better ways to care for them? What is one thing you’d like to see being done differently? How can you add your voice as a stakeholder?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment.

If you enjoyed The Blog, please share it with others. Thanks.

Photo Credit: Photo on Unsplash

And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
Volunteer Blogger: for those with a curious spirit
TheBlog@stalbertseniors.ca
https://stalbertseniors.ca/

4 thoughts on “Awareness of Awareness Days

  1. you know who says:

    Hey – it’s me . Comment – – I found the beginning confusing – first because ‘Awareness Days’ needs to be singular, not plural, paragraph 2 was also unclear fir the same reason.
    The second paragraph has a similar issue. PICKY PICKY PICKY – soree
    The idea has value but I am still unclear about what you feel should be done – – – apart from generally looking into the idea behind these ‘“days’’ . I applaud the idea and your desire to improve on their value but think it lacks clarity- – and I did read through several times – –
    Grammar, syntax and spelling always jump put at me first.

    I am just reading a book that Katie sent as she thought I might like it – – The subject matter is interesting but it is poorly written for the above reasons, plus she totally ignores the subjunctive tense which always irritates me. All these reasons mean that I have to re-read whole sentences for it to make sense. She could use a better editor !!!!!!

    • glenn says:

      Thanks for your feedback. First I deliberately chose the plural of “Awareness Days” as I was referencing not a specific day but all the days that have a specific cause associated with it, such as mental health, seniors, heart, etc.

      Now for my request for a Mulligan. Obviously, my blog lacked clarity and focus. With about 500 words to make my point, I know I can be prone to trying to fit in too many connections. In hindsight, I think this happened. There are threads for several blogs. I will work hard to avoid this trap.

      I do enjoy writing about the topics I have chosen. They range from a very narrow topic such as a book that got me thinking to broad topics such as elder abuse. My wandering risk varies but I’ll improve.

      Thanks, again.

  2. Patti Dolman says:

    Inter generational Living:
    The more I read about death in nursing homes due to starvation and neglect brought on by Covid the more I realize that until I’m completely incapacitated my plan is to join my daughter, SIL and children in their home. My husband on the other hand isn’t entirely convinced. She’s totally onboard with the idea of inter generational living. We’ve already had a test run – our only child has been living with my husband and I for over a year and a half while her and her husband are waiting to occupy their new home just minutes away. Covid has created anxiety, isolation and fear in many but living together has allowed us to share laughter and companionship. Our days are busy and purposeful (at times hectic when you throw a two year old into the mix) This lifestyle is not for everyone but so far it’s working for us. This is how many families used to live prior to the 40s when homes were smaller and living space was cramped. I see a future of being a participating family member and actively involved in my grandchildren’s lives every day that I’m able.

    • glenn says:

      Your take on the Blog was a surprising twist, which I enjoyed. I think one key to life is to find out what works for you. That’s the central reason why I use the “Give it a bit of a think.” It is only intended to prod a think on the topic rather than reach a determined conclusion. Your journey is against the grain, but you just might be ahead of the curve – a curve we may not want to bend or flatten!

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