Let’s Talk About Mental Illness

Good mental health is important. A few weeks ago was Bell Canada’s ‘Let’s Talk Day’ which was about raising awareness and money for mental health improvement. This year, Bell Canada had 131,705,010 interactions from people like you and me either tweeting, calling, posting on Instagram, viewing a Facebook video or texting on January 25, all raising awareness of mental health issues. For each of these interactions, Bell donated .5 cents raising $6,585,250 for mental health awareness and programs across Canada.

Bell Let’s Talk “promotes awareness and action with a strategy built on 4 key pillars: fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.” One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point. The information provided @ letstalk.bell.ca shares that one of the biggest hurdles and why 2/3 of those living with mental illness don’t seek help, is because of the stigma associated with it.

While all of the pillars identified are important, I thought I would highlight the anti- stigma pillar as the theme today as I hear derogatory terms tossed about way too often, that can have serious impact on someone’s well being. Awareness is about understanding and knowing the difference between facts and myths. We learn at a very young age that words can hurt; using proper terminology and avoiding terms like ‘crazy or nuts’ is part of it.

Mental illness is more than having the Monday Blues, or a bad day; telling someone that they will get over it or they should think about something else, is not helpful. Asking, listening and understanding are ways to help support someone who may be clinically depressed, whether or not they have yet have been diagnosed. It helps to show the other person that you care and they are not alone.

Depression is not a normal part of aging. Grief and loss can result in sadness. Clinical depression is something else. While it is difficult to talk about mental illness, it is important to do so and acknowledge the challenges that someone is facing. Bell created a conversation guide and I have attached their link.

How are you feeling today? Remember to have your Check Up From The Neck Up.

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