bell lets talk day
Some say limited access to services and the effects of colonialism are issues.
With January being famous for its most depressing Monday of the year and with Bell's Lets talk campaign to draw awareness
Over the years, I have noticed many instances where professionals felt that they were supposed to be above all of life's challenges and obstacles. Not just health care workers ignoring their own health; but leaders who feel stressed by circumstances beyond their control and who live in fear of being discovered so that they feel anxious and afraid.
We continue to be bombarded with graphically depicted messages that either romanticize suicide in terms of simplistic Romeo and Juliet dreck, or unfairly portray those in the midst of a mental illness crisis as "mad." We start believing falsehoods that keep perpetuating negative stereotypes and stigma.
We can't be the taxi companies, Blackberry or other organizations that refused to adapt and change. We need to keep improving, listening and being better. It's not enough just to be the best of bad. We need to be actually good. Making hard choices that result in better and more effective services.
I felt like I was daring myself to cross some arbitrary line in the sand, and once I did, there would be no turning back. Canadians' perceptions of who I was, and certainly their knowledge of my life story, would be forever altered. Even if only a few dozen people heard my story, it felt big to share personally and publicly.
It takes a lot of courage to own up to your difficulties, to open up to a complete stranger, and most importantly, to be willing to roll up your sleeves and do the inner work needed to heal. It's not a walk in the park, by any stretch of the imagination.
That's the thing about depression. When you're in the thick of it, you don't realize how far wrong things have gone; which is why it's important for all of us to look out for each other, and to watch for those subtle cues and clues that something is amiss with the people we love. It's hard to ask someone "Are you in trouble?" or "Do you need help?" and even "Are you OK?"
We need progressive organizations to build off the publicity of Let's Talk and call for a new day: Let's Act. When it feels like the snow will never melt and spring will never come, let's commit ourselves to act. Let's Act and demand more funding to mental health supports, including the improved public funding of mental health doctors, treatments and facilities. Let's Act and reject Stephen Harper's attempt to criminalize people with mental health struggles: help and rehabilitation rather than solitary confinement and life-long prison sentences.
An embarrassing interview experience led to a meaningful moment for Howie Mandel. In a video for the annual Bell Let’s Talk
It's the most wonderful time of the year for Canadian mental health advocates! Wednesday, January 28 is Bell Let's Talk Day. On Bell Let's Talk Day, conversations will be taking place online, in homes, schools, and offices across the country. All wonderful, but, will you be participating in these discussions by sharing your personal experiences? Many people won't.
As I watched a documentary on Bell's "Let's Talk" campaign recently after my Major Depressive Disorder was diagnosed, although I was busily leafing through a book, of which I couldn't read one single line as my brain was a muddle of fog and pain, I refused to look up at the screen as Clara Hughes discussed of her personal struggle with depression.
I was more than a little disappointed when I saw so many members of the mainstream media writing flippant and dismissive tweets using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on Tuesday. Couching this smug dismissal around perceived corporate hypocrisy completely misses the point.
February 12 was Bell Let's Talk day. A day to talk about mental illness. A day to combat stigma. A day to say we need to allocate way more than 5 per cent of our heath spending dollars on a problem that affects over 20 per cent of the population. My friend Dawn is one of those people.