There are many perks to living in a city like Toronto, a drive down to Young and Dundas for shopping and a movie, a few blocks up to Young and Bloor for some delicious Shawarma, or Front and Jarvis St. for some grocery shopping at St. Lawrence Market. I feel confident in saying that you can find practically anything in this city. Continue reading The Effects of Stigma on Accessing Mental Health Care
Like in all communities, mental illness is an uncomfortable topic to talk about for Bangladeshis. There is a predominant belief that mental illness doesn’t touch us. We look at the outside community and say mental illness is something that affects them, not us.
I think we need to reconsider this notion. According to a national survey carried out in Bangladesh, it’s estimated that about 16% of the population is affected by mental health problems. This is not very different from the 1 in 5 Canadians statistic we often hear about for mental illness.
Ever since Mayank Bhatt landed in Canada, the topic of immigration and diaspora has preoccupied his literary imagination. Mayank considers his immigration to Canada “the riskiest gamble” which presents him with multiple adversities but also with invaluable opportunities to develop his literary talent and engage with what he loves the best: writing. Mayank Bhatt – a former media and marketing professional – came to Canada in 2008 with his wife Mahrukh and son Che from India. Like many immigrants, he struggled to find a decent job and make ends meet. Facing discrimination and poverty in one of the most prosperous and supposed ‘multicultural’ nation did not drown his literary energy; rather, it served as the canvas and fuel for most of his writings to come. Continue reading Mayank Bhatt: Making Stories, Making Change