Bell Let's Talk Day

If you’re unaware, January 25th is annually known as “Bell Let’s Talk Day.” Every time you talk, text and join in on social media, Bell will donate 5 cents more to mental health initiatives. In addition to doing this, the Bell website features several videos, links, tips and information regarding mental health. It’s important that we keep the conversation about mental health going not only on this day, but every day, so that we can continue destigmatizing mental illnesses.

The Bell Let’s Talk website suggests 5 ways in which you can help end stigma and to save you some time, I’ll list them here:


1. Language
Know that your words have the power to save lives and the words you choose to use can either hurt someone or help someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally. A person is not defined by their mental illness, so rather than saying someone is “depressed” you can say that they are “suffering from depression.” Also avoid using words and terms like “schizo” and “psycho.”

2. Knowledge
Mental illness has a lot of stigma around it because people are often very unaware of it. If you’ve never suffered from one, you’ll never be able to know what it’s like. People's experiences with the same illnesses may differ as well. What can you do? Educate yourself!

3. Kindness
Be kind! Everyone has their struggles and it’s important that we're sensitive and mindful of one another. A small act of kindness can go a long way.

4. Support
As a loved one to someone with a mental illness, it’s important to be a good listener and ask how you might be able to help. Taking the time to just listen shows that you care and it’s important for them to have that social support.

5. Talking About It
“Two out of three people suffer in silence, fearing judgment and rejection.” As I said before, start a conversation and keep it going. You have the power to help end stigma by just talking about it and you don’t even need to leave your seat. It’s as easy as sharing articles and videos on social media.

Don’t forget to post about mental health with the hash tag #BellLetsTalk on the January 25th. Not everyone has a mental illness, but everyone needs to be well educated on mental health and how we can understand the difficulties that people with mental illness face daily. Even with obstacles, there is something to be thankful for every day whether it’s knowing you're loved, having clothes on your back, or having an education. I leave you with three Ted Talks on happiness that will hopefully help you practice mental wellness within yourself:

  1. Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment.
  2. Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
  3. Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

If you’re suffering from a mental illness, please know your feelings are valid and to be mentally ill is just as shameless as having the flu; it’s out of your hands and nothing that you asked for! Below is a number you can use to chat with someone about mental illness.

Crisis Line: 613-722-6914

 

 

Sources: Cover Photo,