Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day; which means that people all over Canada are using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to raise awareness for mental health. All throughout the day, Bell will donate 5 cents when #BellLetsTalk is sent in a text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Mental health is extremely important and needs to be spoken about continuously. I’m sure we have all been affected by mental illness in some shape or form, whether we struggle with it ourselves or know someone who faces the daily challenge. Bell has made this into an annual event and I believe it’s worth learning more about. If you’d like to know more, keep reading 🙂
Bell started the Bell Let’s Talk Initiative in September 2010 as a result of the lack of conversation around mental illness. At the time, a large amount of people were not talking about mental illness, as the stigma and shame that surrounded it was huge. However, as the movement has continued every single year, millions of Canadians engage in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle.
In order to stay dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk promotes awareness and action with a strategy built on 4 pillars: fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.
There is still such an enormous stigma attached to mental illness and that is a big part of the reason why people don’t talk about their struggles and experiences. Bell Let’s Talk is raising awareness and is driving the national conversation to help reduce this stigma and promote understanding. Talking is an important first step towards lasting change.
Care & Access
There are still so many people who can’t get the appropriate care due to lack of knowing or lack of access. Bell supports a variety of organizations, including grassroots agencies, local hospitals and universities, to help provide Canadians with support services when and where they need it.
We wouldn’t be able to move further or offer support without knowing what or why we’re doing it in the first place. Research is a huge part of understanding mental illness. Bell invests in best-in-class research programs with the potential to have a transformative impact on the mental health and well-being of Canadians. Research holds the greatest promise to better understand treatments and cures.
Did you know that mental health is the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada and represents 15% of Canada’s burden of disease. It is so often that our co-workers are wrestling with mental illness that they aren’t able to fully commit themselves to their work. Bell is committed to leading by example in our own workplace by encouraging greater corporate engagement across Canada.
How Can We Help?
By using the appropriate language, we can make a huge difference. It’s so often that we say things that are truly hurtful – even if we don’t mean it like that. Always try to use Person-First Language. By putting the person first, we’re not labelling them as a problem.
X Schizo ———- Person with Schizophrenia
X Retarded —— Person with a disability
There has always been a stigma around mental illness, but knowing the facts and myths can be an amazing way to help end it!! Take the time to research and learn more about things that are important
Being kind can make all the difference. Whether it be a smile, a listening ear, a helping hand or just taking the time to notice people, these simple acts of kindness can help open up the conversation and let someone know you are there for them. Forget about unkind expression such as “you’ll get over it”, “just relax”, or “you’re overreacting” and instead offer your support and ask what you can do to help.
Listen & Ask
Mental illness is a serious cause of pain. Being a good listener and asking how you can help can be the first step in recovery. Take the time to listen and ask questions such as “Is everything oaky?”, “How can I help?”, or “I’ve noticed you’ve seemed down lately”.
Talk About It
Break the silence!! Share your own story, ask about others experiences, teach people what you know and challenge stereotypes. You can make such a difference just by talking about it.
Bell Let’s Talk Day has become extremely successful since their first conversation in 2010. With a total impact of 867,449,649 interactions throughout the years, $9 million in Community Fund grants, 6,313,777 individuals supported with access to mental health care, 2,235,043 crisis and distress line callers and $93.4 million donated to mental health initiatives.
So Why Should We Care?
Mental illness is all around us – every single day. 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from a mental illness. Look around in your family and friend groups, one of your loved ones could be struggling and you may not even know it. Mental illness is so common and it’s extremely important to talk about it and put an end to the shame that surrounds it. You could be saving a life.
More About #BellLetsTalk
If you’d like to know more about the Bell Let’s Talk Initiative, visit their website at https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/