Bell Let’s Talk Day is back again for the 8th straight year.
With the tagline “small action; big impact,” Bell Let’s Talk Day has helped to bring mental health awareness to the forefront in Canadian society. On January 31st, it’s time to do it all over again. We can all contribute to making this year’s event the most impactful in Bell Let’s Talk Day in history. Join us in ending the stigma surrounding mental health and raising money for a great cause.
What Is Bell Let’s Talk Day?
If you’re unfamiliar with the popular awareness campaign, Bell Let’s Talk Day is an entire 24 hours dedicated to shedding light on mental health and how we can help eradicate the stigma in our society. What stigma, you ask? Being denied a sick day for mental health-related issues, using words like “schizo” or “crazy” to reference someone with a mental illness, or being told to “just get over it.” All of these are examples of how our society still has a long way to go before we can be stigma-free, but Bell Let’s Talk Day is here to change that.
Starting in 2010, Bell has donated five cents for every call, text, and tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, Instagram post, Facebook video view, and Snapchat geofilter towards mental health initiatives on Bell Let’s Talk Day. Everyone from Justin Trudeau to Howie Mandel has gotten involved in this initiative, which is led by national spokeswoman and Olympic gold medalist, Clara Hughes.
Canada and Mental Health
Over the course of a year, one in five Canadians will struggle with mental health problems. There are many causes of mental illness in Canada. It can be attributed to a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors. While thousands of Canadians experience problems with mental illness, just under half of those people have never been to a doctor to assess their situation.
Poor mental health can lead to suicide, which is the ninth most common cause of death in Canada, claiming the lives of almost 4,000 people in 2012.
Mental health doesn’t just impact one person but our nation as a whole. There is a serious economic impact of poor mental health, costing the government billions of dollars in healthcare, disability, and early death.
Seniors and Mental Health
By the age of 40, half the population will have or have had a mental illness. As you get older, you may become more susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts. The suicide rate among those aged 80 to 84 is double any other age group.
It’s important that you look for warning signs of depression in your senior loved ones and help them in their fight against mental illness. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and frequent social interactions can all improve the mental health of your loved ones.
How to Start the Conversation to End the Stigma around Mental Health
The time for action is now. How can you get involved in starting a conversation to help end the stigma surrounding mental health? Bell Let’s Talk Day outlines these five ways you can get the dialogue flowing:
- be mindful of your words;
- get educated on the topic of mental health;
- be kind and empathetic;
- listen and ask questions like “how can I help?”;
- break the initial silence.
Together, we can all make a positive contribution towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health. Join us on January 25th and text or tweet as many times as you can to help raise funds for this cause.