Talking is the best way to start breaking down the barriers associated with mental illness.
About Bell Let’s Talk
For one day each year, Bell encourages everyone across Canada to talk about mental health online, offline, and within themselves. For each tweet and text message sent, mobile and long distance call made, and share of the Facebook image, Bell will donate five cents to mental health initiatives across the country (Bell Let’s Talk, 2016).
It may not seem like a lot, but the pennies add up. Last year’s one day event raised $6,107,538.60 for various mental health organizations and non-profits.
But still, $6.1 million is not nearly enough. Mental health problems and illnesses cost the Canadian government$50 billion per year not including associated costs in the criminal justice system (Bell Let’s Talk, 2016). Among individuals, $42.3 billion was spent in Canada in 2011 for treatment, care and support services for people with mental illness (Bell Let’s Talk, 2016).
“We turn up the mental health volume on Bell Let’s Talk Day, letting all those who struggle know they have our support and can reach out for help without fear. At the same time, Bell increases its funding of Canadian mental health programs with each message of support you send,” said Clara Hughes, Canada’s 6-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson since its launch in 2010 (Bell Let’s Talk, 2016).
Here is what I posted today with my #BellLetsTalk “When I first started pursuing my graduate degree and began counselling people, I felt like such an imposter. I was struggling with my own depression and anxiety at the time and I wasn’t even aware of it. I knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what it was and I didn’t want anyone to know because how could I be counselling people when I don’t even have my own shit together? I had really bad insomnia and would often go to class, work, and practicum with little to no sleep. I always got out of bed, did all my assignments, and never missed a day of work. I thought I’m getting everything I need done so no one will know and I will be fine. It was destroying me and there were times when I thought I can’t live like this. I am so lucky to have the amazing supports that I do with my friends, family, and partner that they were able to see what I couldn’t see. Not everyone has the support systems that I do and so I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone to go through any mental illness on their own. So even just as a friend, family member, partner, or colleague if you see someone struggling mention it to them because sometimes the person is just trying to survive that they can’t even see what you see. And offer them support, just being there and saying you care means a lot.”
So even if you yourself haven’t experienced mental health, you may be able to help someone else.
Helping end the stigma is one way to support better mental health in Canada. Add your voice to the conversation today and begin breaking down the barriers
References & Image
Bell Let’s Talk (2016). http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/