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

Princeton man charged in thefts from volunteer fire hall

A Princeton man appeared in circuit court here February 14, facing charges… Continue reading

LETTER: Stolen bike had been used in health routine

Summerland man used mountain bike for physical exercise to stave off another heart operation

Piles of debris hauled from Summerland rock slide site

Material removed from site would more than fill an Olympic swimming pool

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

Athletes take to the slopes for the final day of SOBC

Awards ceremony will take place this afternoon at the SilverStar Village Podium.

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Most Read