Bell's Let's Talk campaign is underway for 2020 and once again the initiative seeks to help end the stigma around mental illness.
It’s a fact that 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 attached to it. The annual Bell Let’s Talk awareness campaign and Day is driving the national conversation to help reduce this stigma and promote awareness and understanding.
Talking is an important first step towards lasting change. Language matters, the words we use, can make all the difference. We must educate ourselves, as knowing the facts and myths about mental illness can be a great way to help end the stigma. Read about facts and myths and become a stigma buster; be kind, as 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 the conversation and let someone know you are there for them. Expressions like “You’ll get over it” and “Just relax” can minimize how a person is feeling. Instead, offer your support and say, “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.” Ask what you can do to help and listen because mental illness is a common form of human pain and suffering. Being a good listener and asking how you can help, or simply just being there for the people you care about, sometimes can be the first step in recovery.
Last but not least, talk about it. 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 the stereotypes. Most people with mental health issues can and do recover, just by talking about it. For information on CFN's Vulnerable Population Services, visit centrefornewcomers.ca/vulnerable
Beyond the campaign itself, on January 29th, for every text, call, tweet, Instagram post, Facebook video view and Snapchat geofilter used, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives across Canada. CFN congratulates and thanks Bell for this wonderful initiative that ’s been up and running since 2010.