Tomorrow is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an annual initiative that seeks to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Over the years, I’ve had mixed feelings about this campaign. I know just as well as you that one day won’t solve or cure anything. I’ve seen first hand the state of mental health funding in this country. The long waiting lists, limited access and constant hoop jumping.
Six months ago, I experienced a major depressive episode. With the help of my doctor, we tried to get into various out-therapy programs but some weren’t even taking referrals. A short time later, I ended up the CAMH emergency department. From there, I was admitted to the Women’s Inpatient Unit. This place became my refuge. I developed a treatment plan for my illness and received a mix of individual and skill-based group therapy programs.
It wasn’t until after I was discharged, I learned that this 20-bed inpatient unit is the ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND in Canada.
And so, I made a conscious choice, to continue the conversation. And when I shared, people reached out and shared with me. I realized I wasn’t alone and discovered the value of having real, engaging and authentic discussions about mental health.
It’s a fact: One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help. So while I know Bell Let’s Talk Day won’t be an immediate fix, it’s an important step in the right direction.
For every text, mobile and long distance call made on the Bell network, tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, social media video view, or use of the Facebook frame/Snapchat filter, Bell will contribute 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs.
These conversations will be anything but comfortable. But with so many people are suffering in silence, Bell Let’s Talk allows a day for people to speak up, listen and engage in conversations that are an important first step in getting help.
What do you think of Bell Let’s Talk Day?
Want more information? Click HERE.