One way she’s been able to cope with it, she says, is through art.
Antoniuk is now sharing her work with the world in a book she released in January, titled It’s OK… not to be OK.
“It’s a collection of drawings that I have done throughout the years, giving a look into what goes through a person’s mind battling with mental illness,” Antoniuk said.
“The drawings come with written portions — explanations behind the drawings and the feelings behind them.”
The book is her first publication, something she’s quite proud of.
“It was a learn-as-you-go experience, but it was really good relief and feels good to have had a positive reaction from friends and family,” Antoniuk said.
This past September, the village lost a young child to suicide — one of the many reasons Antoniuk created the book.
Since its release, she’s had a number of people reach out and express their gratitude.
“I’ve had a few friends come forward who I didn’t know struggled with mental illness. They shared their stories with me and it really does open your eyes,” Antoniuk said.
“Somebody can look like they are doing perfectly fine, but you don’t know what’s going on in their world.”
At the end of the day, Antoniuk said it’s not about book sales, but the impact her book will have on others.
“I want it to reach far enough to those who need it the most,” Antoniuk said, “and help them realize they’re not alone.”
Right now, Antoniuk is focusing on promoting her book and is considering publishing more in-depth stories in the future.
A copy of It’s OK… not to be OK is available on Amazon.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.