This is the Mental-Aid Foundation’s Blog Feature we’re calling SHARE, a monthly series of contributed articles relevant to our overall objective of raising public awareness for those affected by mental illness.

We Survive This Ride Together

JANUARY 2014 FEATURE by Karen Barker (originally published at

Aly’s Painting, “Brother’s Portrait”
Aly’s Painting, “Brother’s Portrait”
I am a single mother, teacher, therapist, actress, but above all Human Being. Who is a survivor of a child suicide attempt…..

The trigger of this experience is reptilian. I use these choice of words because I would like to refer to the part of the brain that is charge of the instinct of survival.

This is a life changing event.

In response, I have developed this passion to “Retrain the Brain:.

Release…Let go….Forgive….Forget…these are some of the words that we frequently hear …as part of this journey. We are on alert for that call which may or may not come.

Mental Illness, depression, bi-Polar, Schizophrenia… Yes, they are all conditions and labels. but I believe are also influenced by the human condition….

When we are kind loving, generous. life is easy and graceful. Yes, someone may come along to play the demon: to criticize, “rock the boat” therefore triggering that downward spiral of deep rooted pain. Be it fear of abandonment, rejection, acceptance.. it is fear…in its essence.

I pray for the day where the New way of encompassing heaven on earth is the norm. Where we all live in our hearts…unconditionally love each other, and choose to nurture life in the world rather than destroy it.

We are in the darkness before this dawn.

It takes every fibre of my being to call on courage, strength, and will to be a warrior of Love.