The aims of Humain Avant Tout are to reduce the taboos surrounding mental health, to break the isolation, rekindle hope and inspire people to ask for help. The organization publishes and broadcasts testimonies from people who have or who are experiencing psychological problems, diagnosed or not. Here is actor Michel Charrette:
I grew up in a house in which I bathed with my parents’ anxiety. They were never diagnosed, and kept it to themselves. That’s what it was like at the time. You never spoke of these things.
My daughter has been experiencing a form of anxiety for a few years. As a parent, that concerns me.
What is my place in the mental health of those closest to me? If being a good parent, a friend, a brother, a spouse or a boss doesn’t learn about it in books, no one really knows what to do when a mental health problem hits. And yet, for the person living through it, the entourage can make all the difference.
As for me personally, sports has done me the most good in controlling my anxiety. I also sought help. Psychological support can make all the difference! And most of all, don’t be afraid to talk to your entourage, your family, your friends, your children. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.
Knowing that it’s genetic, my wife and I have tried to soften the blow for our daughter, who’s got some anxious traits. Our children are brilliant. They sense our anxiety and ask if it’s their fault. Is it me, or isn’t it? We talk a lot about it at home. It’s absolutely not a taboo subject in our house. I tell them, “I understand what you’re going through. At your age I was going through the same thing, but I didn’t have any tools…”
Today, I have some tools that come in very handy when I need them. And I’m happy that my daughter had these tools as early on as possible, and that she uses them. It’s something she’ll have for her whole life.