Oh hey! I’m a little late here. Life has gotten away from me a bit. But lets get down to business.
Bell Lets Talk day was very recent! And guess what? The actions of those who participated in the day resulted in Bell committing more money to mental health! There was a total of 138,383,995 interactions which resulted in a whopping $6,919, 199 being raised.
For me, personally, the best part about Bell Lets Talk day is the way it brings discussion around mental health. I’ve said it a million times – the more we talk, the less the stigma. The more we talk, the more normalized mental illness becomes. We need to talk about mental illness like we talk about diabetes, MS, cancer and all other physical illnesses. I can’t wait for that day.
Over the years I have had to fight my way through the system in order to get help. I’ve been pushy with doctors, I’ve demanded to see specialists, I’ve forced my way into meetings in order to facilitate change. I look forward to the day someone can go to see a doctor without shame and guilt, and there are no questions asked in relation to whether the feelings are real or not.
I want change. Real change. Resources in small towns. Not just for extreme situations, but for the average person dealing with mental illness. Groups, facilitated CBT, MHAS that is active in the community, doctors in hospitals that take suicide seriously. I could go on and on.
Bell Lets Talk gets people talking. This year I had plenty of Facebook friends share their struggles. Hundreds of articles and stats and information on mental illness were shared.
This is a BIG deal. I was 16 the first time I was diagnosed with depression (I say the first because I ended up getting an accurate diagnosis at 22) and absolutely NO ONE talked about mental illness then. It was embarrassing and I felt ashamed taking medication. I told very few people. There were no campaigns or commercials, and especially none that reached out to youth.
I’m proud to see how far society has come in regards to talking about mental illness, but it definitely has a long way to go. I challenge you to talk. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is part of our power.