Well, it’s that time of year again! The Bell Let’s Talk campaign is coming up January 28th!
What is this campaign I speak of?
Bell Let’s Talk is a multi-year charitable program dedicated to mental health. Bell has committed over $67.5 million to support a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast.
There are four pillars of the Bell Let’s Talk initiatives:
· Anti-Stigma - One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.
· Care & Access - Only one-third of those who need mental health-related services in Canada will receive treatment, often due to the stigma associated with mental illness or because they simply do not have access to programs in their community.
· Workplace Health - Mental health is the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada and represents 15% of Canada’s burden of disease. As a leading employer, Bell is committed to leading by example in our own workplace and is an early adopter of the voluntary Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
· Research - Mental illness represents 15% of the burden of disease in Canada and is the leading cause of disability in Canada, accounting for 30% of disability claims and representing 70% of the total costs. Yet only 5.5% of our healthcare dollars in Canada are dedicated to mental illness.
Bell believes there are 5 simple ways to help end the stigma around mental illness:
1. Language matters - Words can help…but they can also hurt. Pay attention to the words you use.
What you can do: Explain to friends and colleagues who use words like “psycho” or “nut” without thinking that their comments may be hurtful and provide an alternative view.
2. Educate yourself - Myths exist about mental illness that contribute to stigma. Learn the facts.
What you can do: Learn more, know more. Be knowledgeable and help fight stigma with facts.
3. Be kind: Small acts of kindness speak volumes.
What you can do: Don’t stand by if someone is being labeled or bullied. Treat a person who has a mental illness with the kindness and care you give to people with other illnesses through a friendly smile, a helping hand, a phone call or visit.
4. Listen and ask: Sometimes it’s best to just listen.
What you can do: Don't trivialize someone's illness. Instead, say: "I’m sorry to hear that, it must be a difficult time. Is there anything I can do to help?"
5. Talk about it: Start a dialogue, not a debate
What you can do: Break the silence. Talk about how mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Stories of lived experience are the best way to help eradicate stigma. Support mental health and anti-stigma programs in your community.
Bell also runs a Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is part of Bell Let’s Talk, Canada’s largest corporate initiative dedicated to mental health. The 2015 Fund will provide grants in the range of $5,000 to $50,000 to organizations in Canada focused on improving access to programs and services that support and help improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living with mental health issues.
On January 28th, 2015 join the national conversation about mental health! For every tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk and share of the Bell Lets talk image on Facebook, Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health research. If you are a Bell customer, for every text message and phone call, Bell will also donate 5 cents to mental health research.