Mental Health Awareness: Bell Let's Talk Day
The #bellletstalk movement might have started as a brilliant marketing strategy for a communications company, but it has morphed into something much bigger and better. Every year on January 31st we are encouraged to share our stories of our experience with mental health and the impact it has on our lives.
Depression and its related mental health conditions can be the most isolating and lonely experiences in a persons’ life, and can feel like you’re drowning in your own thoughts and emotions. Having someone to talk to can be the lifeline that keeps our head above water and eventually helps us find our way out.
These stories serve a very important purpose. Mental health illnesses often come with a sense of isolation and loneliness. When you’re in the middle of an episode, it can be difficult to imagine that anyone outside of it might be willing or able to try to understand what you are experiencing. With each new story, there is an increased possibility that some small kernel will resonate, that we'll recognize a small part of us in the experience of others, and start to realize that we are not alone. It’s a chance to feel more connected, less alone, and to stop hiding.
Anyone who has ever experienced depression, anxiety, burnout, or any other form of mental illness, would not want anyone else to go through it without support. #bellletstalk serves as an opportunity to break down the stigma around mental health illnesses. By telling our stories, we change the conversation from being about 'them' to being about 'all of us'. Increasing awareness sheds the light on the prevalence of mental health and how it impacts all of us in some capacity.
If you feel you do not have someone in your life who you can reach out to, there are free and confidential services available:
Crisis Services Canada Toll free: 1-833-456-4566 Text: 45645
Online Chat: crisisservicescanada.ca
KidsHelpPhone Ages 20 Years and Under in Canada:1-800-668-6868
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness 24/7 Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
Online Chat: Hope For Wellness
Canadian Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Trans LifeLine – All Ages: 1-877-330-6366
It’s important to remember that although no-one can completely understand your experience, that doesn’t mean that no-one will be there to listen and support you in your journey.