#wearenot9to5 Shoel Davidson

#wearenot9to5 is a series of stories about mental health & addiction from people in the hospitality, food & beverage industry to fight the stigma & shame.

Shoel Davidson (@beingsoshoel, Mind The Bar founder)

In early 2018, Shoel Davidson (from BC and Co-Owner/Operator: @gringoyvr & @meatatdixies) shared a post on Facebook. He revealed his personal struggle with mental health in honour of Bell Let's Talk Day. The outpouring response to his shared experience lead him to start Mind The Bar Foundation. Mind The Bar is a mental health resource, information & support system, and community hub designed for the hospitality industry, that focuses on the major issues of depression, anxiety, addiction & workplace harassment.

Not 9 to 5 is thrilled to be sharing this post with our audience as it stands to be just as relevant, inspiring and powerful today as it was a year ago.

Here are Shoel's words from his original post:

Last year was an incredibly difficult one for me both personally & professionally that resulted in my suffering a traumatic mental breakdown &, for the first time since adolescence, the idea of suicide.

In that moment I knew three things;

I wasn't okay.

I would be okay.

I needed help.

I reached out to a few very incredible people in my life who became the shining stars in an otherwise very dark sky as well as a psychologist to help me recover.

And while mental health is a wound that may never truly heal we too often forget that many, if not all of us, suffer or have suffered from it in some way. Whether that be depression, addiction or anxiety, all of which we have been raised to perceive as imperfections within ourselves. However these are not flaws or a weakness but rather what make us truly human & ultimately connect us to one another.

The unfortunate fact is I work within an industry where far too often a cry for help is met with a shot of whisky instead of a compassionate ear. And sadly this past year, much like those before it, many of us have lost incredible friends to mental strive, & the emptiness of their absence continues to leave an irreparable void in our lives.

And so I take this opportunity today not to seek praise for overcoming my own recent battles with mental health but rather to urge those who are struggling to reach out for help wherever you may find it because you will be missed. And to those whom they reach out to, if only quietly, to reach back with all the compassion in your heart.