Vishal Lekhi paid for a billboard with a mental health message. The billboard

Billboard offers mental health message

Message displayed following Summerland man's experiences with depression and anxiety.

After coping with depression for more than a year and a half, Vishal Lekhi of Summerland wanted to share a message urging people to talk about mental health and to get support.

His message took the form of a billboard, visible from the north entrance to Penticton off Highway 97.

The message reads, “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shames us all. Build a support network today.”

The billboard cost Lekhi $800 for one month. It will remain in place until June 13, unless he receives additional funding to pay for more time.

He added that he did not receive any funding from a mental health organization for the billboard.

In addition to the billboard, Lekhi has also set up a Facebook page, South Okanagan Mental Health Awareness. It can be found at https://www.facebook.com/SouthOkanaganMentalHealthAwareness.

Lekhi said the message on the billboard is important to him because of his experiences with depression and anxiety during his first year of university.

He coped with the help for some friends who gave him the support he needed.

“Luckily I had friends who were supportive. It helped a lot,” he said. “They never let me feel weak.”

Too often, he said, those dealing with depression or other mental illnesses do not want to talk about what they are facing, a trend which needs to change.

“When someone is mentally exhausted, they’ve been strong too long,” he said.

The Canadian Mental Health Association raises awareness of mental health issues in May. Mental Health Week ran from May 6 to 12 this year.

Those who want to contact Lekhi about the billboard may reach him by email at vishal.lekhi@hotmail.com.

 

Just Posted

Choral Extravaganza brings valley choirs together

Sunday concert features six choirs singing together

Visiting Vees pound West Kelowna Warriors

The Vees got hat tricks from two players en route to an 11-3 win

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Choral Extravaganza brings valley choirs together

Sunday concert features six choirs singing together

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Biosphere designation boosts national park drive

Certification outlines conservation as key part of sustainable tourism development

Most Read