Today marks the 7th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day.
Bell Let’s Talk is one of Canada’s biggest mental health initiative. It is a day where people across Canada talk about a topic many of us don’t talk about – mental illness. It is an attempt to raise awareness and reduce the stigma. Through social media, commericals, PSAs and TV specials.
Also, on Bell Let’s talk day, Bell contributes 5¢ more to other mental health initiatives for:
- Every text and call done through the cell provider
- Every tweet and Instagram post using the hashtag #BellLet’sTalk
- Every Bell Let’s Talk video view on Facebook
- And the use of Snapchat’s Bell Let’s Talk geofilter
Last year on Bell Let’s Talk Day, over 125,000,00 calls, texts, tweets and shares were made by Canadians – which means over $ 6,000,000 was raised for Canadian mental health inititives.
Also last year, our Prime Minister spoke so openly, honestly, and positively about mental health through social media and the talk show, The Social. He spoke about how mental illness runs in his family and how he’s working to improve the mental health system. This made me so happy and gave me hope that we have him on our side. That hope still holds because of the things he said, even though we haven’t seen much change yet.
How You Can Help End Stigma Today and Everyday
- Watch your language – For example, instead of calling someone crazy or psycho, refer to them as someone with a mental illness.
- Educate yourself – Educate yourself on mental illness. Also, on how to help them as an individual. What might help someone, might not help someone else.
- Be Kind – “Simple kindness can make a world of difference. Whether it be a smile, being a good listener or an invitation for coffee and a chat, these simple acts of kindness can help open up the conversation and let someone know you are there for them.”
- Listen and ask – Sometimes all we need is someone to talk to, or someone to ask if we’re okay because many people with mental illness are not comfortable to initiate the conversation.
- Talk about it – “Break the silence. Mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Stories of people who have experienced mental health issues and who are doing well, can really challenge stereotypes. Most people with mental health issues can and do recover, just by talking about it.”