January 31st is an important day for all people who have ever suffered from a mental illness or have been affected by the mental health stigma. Why? It’s “Bell Let’s Talk” day.
If you haven’t already heard about the Bell Let’s Talk initiative, it’s important for one reason: it’s helping to put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health.
Bell Let’s Talk day was introduced in September of 2010. Prior to the creation of this program, mental health was not something that was discussed often, if at all. In fact, talking about issues that surrounded this topic was often frowned upon. Those with mental illnesses usually felt ashamed of or afraid to discuss their struggles. This problem was becoming increasingly evident in our society. Because of this, Bell launched the Bell Let’s Talk program, which was designed to make those who were suffering feel more comfortable with sharing their feelings and getting much-needed help.
Within a span of only eight years, the effects of Bell Let’s Talk have been one of the most noticeable of any mental health campaign created. So far, Bell has managed to raise nearly $87 million to donate to mental health charities and projects across Canada. However, the results aren’t just in the numbers. Throughout the course of time that this initiative has been running there have been numerous celebrities, public figures, and everyday people that have spoken up about their experiences with mental illness. There has never been such an open and widespread conversation about mental health before, and the number of people participating in the Bell Let’s Talk discussion increases every year.
You can join in on the conversation by using #BellLetsTalk on Twitter and Instagram, or using the Bell Let’s Talk filter on Snapchat. Each time a hashtag or filter is used, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health charities.
Millbrook/South Cavan hasn’t let this go unnoticed by the students. We’ve been promoting this initiative by placing posters about it around our school and discussing it on our morning announcements.
If you or one of your loved ones is experiencing mental health difficulties, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Things will get better, it just takes some assistance and time.
Let’s end the mental health stigma. Let’s talk.
By Newspaper Club Member, Olivia