In his first book, Learning to Live: From the Loss of My Parents to Mental Health Advocate, Noah Irvine writes his memoirs. It might seem a bit weird for a 21-year-old kid from Guelph to put down his life story for posterity, but it’s a story that’s as remarkable as it is recognizable. Noah might have become a statistic, but instead he became an advocate. Now he wants to tell you why.
You’ve probably heard of Noah because he’s been featured in a lot of different local and national media outlets (and this podcast) for his letter writing campaign demanding better mental health support. For Noah, mental health was always front of mind, so to speak, his mother died by suicide when he was five, and his father overdosed when he was 15. So Learning to Live is aptly named as Noah chronicles the struggles of his youth and how his personal tragedy made him feel different from other kids.
In his book, Noah questions how he remembers the things he remembers, how he carries around guilt for what happened to his parents (even while realizing how irrational that is), and how he had to struggle with his own issues, including a learning disability that might have kept him from pursuing a university education. Noah will tell you that he had a lot of support, but he will also tell you that he’s one of the lucky ones, which is why he wanted to write his book, to remember the unlucky ones, like his parents.
So Noah Irvine joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about luck, why he wanted to write his life story down in a book, and the everyday struggles of being a survivor and trying to relate. He will also talk about his efforts to try and understand his parents and their issues, and how his now famous letter writing campaign, which started as a school project, helped him overcome. And finally, Noah will tell us about the limits of his political action, and why he’s now leaning towards a career in law instead of politics.
So let’s let Noah tell his story on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politiciast!
You can buy a copy of Learning to Live downtown at the Bookshelf, Guelph’s independent bookstore, or you can buy it through the book’s website. Noah also has a blog on that site and you can sign up for email updates while you’re there.
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