Tomorrow, January 31st, is Bell Let's Talk Day 2018. This day is hosted by Bell media and communications in an effort to bring mental health out of the shadows and into the light. This event has began in 2010 and has raised over $86,504,429.05 so far! Canadians have been quick to support this cause, recognizing the way it benefits Canadian's and the world as a whole.
The Bell Let's Talk Day initiative is "dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada... [by promoting] awareness and action with a strategy built on 4 key pillars: Fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health." People are encouraged to look at how they can positively contribute to these four goals both individually and on a global platform.
How can you get involved in the Bell Let's Talk Day? They outline five ways that you can get involved tomorrow that specifically advance each goal of the movement:
Learn the Language of Mental Illness: "The words you use can make all the difference. Words can help, but they can also hurt" (Bell). For example, calling someone with a mental illness 'crazy' is derogatory and further stigmatizes mental illness as frivolous and ridiculous. Remember that language is powerful!
Get Educated: "Stigma [around mental illness] has been around for a long time, and knowing the facts and myths about mental illness can be a great way to help end the stigma" (Bell). We encourage you to do some research on what mental illness looks like and how it affects 1/5 Canadians.
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" (Bell). Don't let you attitude perpetuate the problem; be kind and sincere, always.
Listen To Others & Engage: "Mental illness is a very common form of human pain and suffering. Being a good listener and asking how you can help, sometimes just even being there for people you care about, can be the first step in recovery" (Bell). Remember that even if someone isn't ready to open up yet, knowing they can when they're ready is so valuable!
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" (Bell).
Use social media to make a difference! Find out more by visiting letstalk.bell.ca
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