The Truth about Alberta & Mental Health with Blake Reid Band
For 33 years, Alberta has been my beautiful home and it always will be. Alberta, Canada is the province many are proud of. But in the last decade, things have been changing. Things are shifting; the people, the weather, the government, the mood, the outlook, and the lands. People have lost jobs, money is disappearing, depression, addictions, and suicide rates are rising, things are becoming expensive, the weather has been out of whack, survival is just around the corner for many and mental illnesses are becoming an everlasting trend to be spoken about. Many Albertans have been hurting the last while, we are not going to lie. Albertans especially Farmers have been struggling so much, more than a lot of us know.
As the CEO of StandOUT Publications, the reason why I came up with this publication is to give Canadians a voice. I know what it’s like not having a voice, I know what it’s like being shut down. So, I created this magazine to give Canadians the opportunity to speak their minds and voice, no matter what side we are on. As of right now, since our BIG ELECTION is coming up VERY SOON, we all are feeling it. We all are feeling the pressure, the ugliness, the hate, the frustration, the fear, and THE STRESS.
This is where mental health comes in. Mental health is something that not a lot of people like to talk about. It’s a “touchy” subject because, for generations, everyone was taught to just keep their mouths shut, just to keep their feelings bottled inside and keep going with life. The keep going with life is NOT WRONG. It is NOT COMMUNICATING about how we feel and how we think that is WRONG. No one can read the future, no one can actually predict anything. The world is HUGE, there are SO MANY people, SO MANY viewpoints. Our minds are so powerful, once we get confused, frustrated and nothing is being done, things can go downhill. Things are changing.
A lot of Albertans feel threatened and angry because their power and voice is being taken away. Many Albertans feel judged by the world because not everyone knows the truth about Alberta’s and Canada’s CLEAN oil. There are so many misunderstandings, misstatements, and misinformation being passed around (especially on all the social media platforms and some inappropriate news stations) creating more confusion and new drama that DOES NOT NEED TO EXIST.
“Three Chords and The Roots” Songwriter Circle played an exceptional performance last night at the Heritage Centre, 1KM outside of Cremona, Alberta, the home of farmers. Our team had the honor to be media to cover this and share it nationwide. The cause of this local and humble concert is to raise awareness about mental health. This group tours around Alberta, singing funny and phenomenal real lifestyle songs. The lead singer and guitarist, Blake Reid shared his life story truth wholeheartedly with the audience, explaining why he was doing this. Dealing with depression, divorce and farmer’s stress life, his escape was music. Winner of many awards, Blake has found his passion to help other people by going through hardship with his music and his words. His band “pays homage to the craft rooted in the traditions of the country and great storytelling”. While playing folk, red dirt, Americana, rock and roll, outlaw country, swam, bluegrass and Manu more, he stays true to his story. The magic of their music had us all felt at ease for a while. Other talents included; Duane Steele, Joni Delaurier, Dustin Farr and Troy Kokol.
There were jokes told, personal stories and true feelings about mental health and the stress of life shared. One of the singers mentioned the negativity on social media these days between so many different kinds of Canadians. Literally, ANYONE with any level of IQ can create memes, captions, posts with the most incorrect information that can be laughable at times. But still shocking and appalling. And guess what, it does NOT help with the mental health problems that already exist. It adds to our ‘mental plate’, it adds to our life buckets. All our life buckets are FULL already, then we have to see so much hate from others. It’s everywhere, not just on social media. It’s on the political parties’ signs, it’s on vehicles (stickers/decals), it’s graffitied on buildings and so many more places that are in our face.
Why is there so much resistance to positive changes for all that live here? As I said, Alberta is changing. So much hate and anger equal negative mental health impact. People feel unheard, no matter they are right or left-winged. Every Canadian struggle in different ways under any government ruling. It’s the sad truth. But… What we do believe is important, is for the government that will focus on the mental health of Albertans, the Indigenous, veterans, seniors, children, homeless, domestic violence/sexual violence survivors, people with differently-abled, cancer/illness survivors, people with PTSD, LGBTQ2+, everyone, all Canadians. They are ALL Canadians, and mental health affects us all.
It is time to educate and understand more about the mental health of all humans. If there are no healthy humans, there won’t be a healthy lifestyle for anyone. We need to help before it’s too late. We need to get our message about Canadians across properly before it’s too late. We need to keep our PLACE on the map because we fought for our country, we fought for our freedom and we need to keep respecting that. We all need to put aside our anger and hate, work together, and figure out mental health to keep the country improving on a positive note, not going back in history disregarding mental health.
Special SHOUT OUT to a great group of people, the Cremona 4H Club, who presented the pie auction and set up the whole event last night. All proceeds from last nights auction and ticket sales are donated to www.DoMoreAG.com
Written and Photography by Tessa Lerbekmo-Joyes, CEO of StandOUT Publications