mental health advocate
I was honored to be the Keynote Speaker for Mental Health Awareness alongside The Ontario Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael A. Tibollo. I have spoken on stages all across North America and my life mission is to remove stereotypes and myths about mental illness, by educating and changing the world for the better. Being an advocate is important to me because I believe the only way we’re going to remove the judgment and discrimination surrounding mental illness is by sharing our stories. I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder back in 2007, which is a mental illness with symptoms of excessive worry for long periods of time. It totally took over my life and I was admitted to rehab for months of intense therapy. The journey was a long road to recovery but now I have the cognitive behavioral tools to cope and manage a healthy balanced life. I look forward to speaking at your next event to help spread awareness and stop the stigma.
In Chapter 5 of My book A Fresh Start I reveal my my deepest darkest times battling Anxiety Disorder. Here's an excerpt:
Anxious thoughts filled my head and it was depleting me. My negative thoughts controlled me. I felt I had to prove myself to everyone in my life that I was able to manage. I didn’t want to seem like a failure. I had to be perfect to feel whole. I needed the thumbs up, or the Hi5 or the “Way to go!” to feel I belonged or fit in. I needed to hear “I love you, I appreciate you, you did a good job and Karen, and I need you”. If I didn’t have that approval, I would feel low about myself and wonder why I wasn’t good enough. I allowed these worries to consume me and to dictate who I was as a person. I allowed people’s actions towards me validate who I truly was. It didn’t matter what I thought of myself, it mattered what THEY thought of me…or what I “THOUGHT” they thought of me. My perception was often a misunderstanding or an illusion. I often jumped to conclusions and worried. I felt unworthy. This anxiety was my “normal”.
I aired this episode of the Karen Carrington Show in recognition of Mental Health Awareness month with The Nut Lady, Celeste London. I really had to change my diet as I got older and noticed this milk really helped when I tried it! The Coconut flavour is my absolute favorite! According to the Nut Lady, it may support weight loss, and may promote healthy digestion which is everything I need to keep my mental health in check! I always remind my audience Mental health is key!
Green is the official color of Mental Health Awarenss Month! The color is so calming and soothing. For me, taking a peaceful walk in nature by the waterfront and sitting in the grass with my blanket amongst all the beautiful plants and greenery with a good book helps diminish the ongoing stresses of life restoring me back to a sense of well- being
Gary Vaynerchuk, with millions of followers shared a short but powerful quote with me on his live show. The quote "Everything's scary till it's not" reminds us all that the negative chatter in our minds can be our own worst enemy. My anxiety used to hold me back from taking chances in life, but now, even when I feel afraid, I go for it!
My Mother's Day online Celebration was held in recognition of Mental Health Month during the 2020 global pandemic, in partnership with Tech Engineer Sassy LaV and 100 women particpated in the live event nationwide. The celebration included encouraging words for mothers, a guitar performance, an interactive cooking segment, and an interview on overcoming motherhood adversities. Psycologist. Dr. Natasha Williams and I gave a message on managing mental health.
Activist. Strategist. Philanthropist. These words accurately and actively describe, Karen Carrington, the voice of those who hear voices. In this fast moving world and abounding culture/society, Lady Carrington heralds as a champion lobbyist and an inspiring human being seeking radical reform to how we view those living with mental illness. Decorated as one of the leading activists in the nation of Canada, this brilliant and articulate freedom fighter takes the lid off of labels and with authority stemming from a wealth of personal experience on the matter, places a stronghold on stereotypes. Blessed as an insightful communicator, she has been a tower of strength to all races and ethnicities, revealing that perhaps, humanity is not as divided as the media makes us out to be”.
Dr. O’Neil K. Walker,
Pastor/Registered Clinical Counsellor