Wednesday January 27th marks Bell’s 2016 Let’s Talk Day – So let’s do that – #LetsTalk Mental Health. Your sister, father, co-worker, taxi driver, trainer… all of us are touched with the push and pull of mental un-wellness (I know that’s not a word). There are no clear lines or rules, only opportunity for compassion, understanding, learning and coping.
5 simple ways to fight the stigma around mental illness This year’s Bell Let’s Talk’s campaign builds on the 5 simple ways to fight the stigma developed by Dr. Heather Stuart, the first Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen’s University, and introduced as part of the 2015 Bell Let’s campaign:
“The 5 simple ways enable Canadians to engage in conversations about mental health and help support those who live with mental illness,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “As conversations grow and awareness and understanding increases, stigma is reduced. It’s a way we can all help those who struggle with mental illness – most of whom won’t otherwise seek the help they need because of embarrassment or fear that they will be judged for their illness.”
- Language matters – pay attention to the words you use about mental illness
- Educate yourself – learn, know and talk more, understand the signs
- Be kind – small acts of kindness speak a lot
- Listen and ask – sometimes it’s best to just listen
- Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence
Let me take the opportunity to share with you an email I received today from someone dear to me.
I hate January and February. I hate it with all in me. Its dark, its cold and its uncomfortable in my mind. I struggle and I trip, only to pull myself up by the pants and continue on. I find myself crying for no real reason and wanting to stay in bed. Can’t be easy for the people around me and the ones who love me. I have not forgiven myself yet, but I am on the road. Yesterday was bad- BUT i found myself getting angry at my emotions, in a good way. I want to continue my fight and I want to try that much harder. The mental state we/I get in is extremely personal and only those who have been there can understand. People who are sick cant explain why or how we feel this way- we just DO. And that is what I will continue to do. I will just DO. And I will keep fighting, harder.I love you. All of you. More than words. Please, think of the mentally ill today- those suffering from addiction and those who want help. We want lives with a full soul. We want to love. We want to have children and a life so blessed with joy and beauty that it encompasses all those around you and brings them into our arms. We do have good souls, and we do want to forgive ourselves. We just haven’t learned how ….Yet.