How Can You Support Your Loved Ones With Mental Illness? #BellLet’sTalk Opens the Conversation.
Mental Health Issues Impact You.
You may be wondering “Why is it so important to talk about mental health?” If you don’t struggle with your own mental health it can be easy to dismiss this as a problem that doesn’t relate to you.
But here’s the thing: Mental health issues do impact you. In fact, they impact all of us in some way.
Did you know that 1 in 5 people will personally experience a mental illness in any given year?
More research shows us that in some point in EVERY PERSON’S life, they will be impacted indirectly by mental illness through a family member, friend, or colleague.
Mental illness does not discriminate, and can affect people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
Mental illness impacts you. This is why we are so passionate about talking openly about mental health. So many people struggle with their mental health, and often these people struggle in silence. And while there has been increasing advocacy and awareness for mental health issues, there continues to be a stigma that makes it difficult for people to feel comfortable and safe reaching out for the help that they need! The more we discuss mental health, the more we can support those who are struggling.
What is Bell Let’s Talk Day?
You may have heard about “Bell Let’s Talk Day”, and wondered what it is all about. Bell Canada will be promoting and encouraging conversations on mental health through their annual campaign: Bell Let’s Talk. On January 31st, for every text/call from a Bell phone or social media post that includes #BellLetsTalk, Bell Canada will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives. This campaign is easy to participate in, as you can participate all day and from anywhere! Not only does Bell Let’s Talk raises funds for mental health supports and services, but also raises awareness and opens discussions about mental health.
As a whole, this campaign has been very successful! Over the past 8 years, Bell has donated over 86 million dollars to mental health initiatives through Bell Let’s Talk. More and more people participate in this campaign every year, and as a result it is a leading campaign for raising awareness for mental health struggles and mental illness.
The overwhelming support and encouragement online on Bell Let’s Talk day is incredible. It’s a day where newsfeeds are filled with people sharing their experiences with mental health, and offering to listen or speak to others who may be struggling. There are statistics shared, phone lines posted, and resources linked. Bell Let’s Talk day is an amazing way to spread awareness. However, many people struggle after Bell Let’s Talk day when the world shifts away from this topic and returns to its daily norm.
How Can We Help Support People With Mental Illness Moving Forward?
In the quiet moments after Bell Let’s Talk Day, when mental illness is not talked about as much, many people begin to feel alone again and afraid to reach out for help. That is why it is important that we talk about mental health all year round and not just one day a year! If the openness and support that was flooding the internet for Bell Let’s Talk happened all year round, just think of the people we could help and lift up!
Here are some ways you can support your loved ones who struggle with mental health issues:
Share your story if you have struggled with mental illness and have been treated. The more we can talk about our stories and show people that there is help out there, the more individuals who are struggling will feel empowered!
Check in with your family and friends. If it seems like someone may be struggling, check in with them, and ask them how you can best support them! Sometimes this might be the encouragement they need to get help.
Educate yourself on mental illness, and the treatment options that are out there! If you were one of many people who thought mental illness does not impact you, educate yourself! Read up on what mental illness is, so that you can best support your family and friends. Here is a great resource.
Take care of yourself. In order for you to maintain a healthy mental state make sure that you take time to treat your physical and mental self well. Check out this link for more information.
This year, I encourage everyone to participate and be a voice for Bell Let’s Talk day, and throughout the entire year. Share resources and support with your friends and family, and the world. And of course, be kind to yourself if you find reading experiences of others triggering or overwhelming. Take care of yourself first, and know that it’s okay to not participate if it makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If you have a story you want to share, please share it in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!