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Mental health: YouTube videos highlight living with disabilities

Richmond Centre for Disability (RCD) rolled out a weekly show to discuss chronic illness and underlying mental health concerns.

People living with disabilities are now sharing their mental-health experiences and even offering suggestions to others on a YouTube channel launched by a local not-for-profit. 

Richmond Centre for Disability (RCD) rolled out a weekly show called “ShareNet,” discussing chronic illnesses and underlying mental health concerns.  

The video isn’t just limited to helping people understand chronic illnesses but also finding out the positive aspects for people living with disabilities, according to Dave Thomson, RCD peer support and community outreach coordinator. 

Thomson said RCD didn’t want to create the show just from a doctor’s perspective since the last thing many people living with disabilities want to see is another doctor. 

“Another doctor doesn’t help me. I want to see how that guy got the same illness as I have and he is climbing a mountain. How did he do that?” said Thomson. 

Meanwhile, Thomson was invited to discuss Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), a chronic illness he has lived with for the past 20 years. 

Having SPD means someone is overly sensitive to stimuli, something other people might not even be aware of, Thomson explained, noting he always carries earplugs or asks others not to wear perfume or cologne to help him avoid stimuli. 

Despite Thomson being so careful, he’s still sometimes caught off guard since he can’t plan for everything ahead of time. 

In his ShareNet video, Thomson outlined four principles he tries to live by: planning ahead, prioritizing important things, pacing himself and putting a pause on certain things.