Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day— a Mental Health Awareness Day designed to overcome stigmas and promote the open discussion of psychological and mental health struggles.
It’s a cause very near and dear to my heart. If you’re lucky enough not to struggle with these problems, chances are that you know someone who does. 1 in 5 Canadians face some sort of mental illness in their lives, and yet only 49% of Canadians say they would even associate with a friend with mental illness. 3 million Canadians are currently suffering from depression, 22% of Canadians are currently dealing with an anxiety disorder, and 3% of Canadians are currently suffering from an eating disorder.
I’ve dealt with all three.
Having dealt with all three, I can also say that this statistic– that 80% of people who receive treatment are able to fully resume normal activities and behaviours– is powerful, moving, and, in my case, very accurate.
The problem is, though, that people are afraid to seek help. They’re afraid to talk about it. Afraid of the stigma, the judgement, the dirty looks. Afraid of being labeled ‘sick’ or ‘crazy’ or ‘in need of their meds’. They’re afraid seeking help makes them weak, or self-indulgent, or a cry baby. They’re afraid that medication will turn them into a zombie, or that is something that only really ‘crazy’ people need. Worse yet, they’re afraid that without their disease, they won’t know themselves.
I’ve been there. Treatment helps. Medication helps. Just talking about it helps.
Facebook, tweet, or text with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to support funding for the Bell Mental Health Initiative. Treatment, medication, and therapy can be expensive, and for every text sent today, facebook share, or twitter #BellLetsTalk, 5 cents is donated to the Bell Mental Health Initiative.
So let’s talk.