Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. For those of you not in the know, Bell Let’s Talk Day is a mental health initiative dedicated to ending the stigma behind mental health and encouraging discussion. In order to raise awareness, Bell contributes 5 cents to Canadian mental health initiatives for every text message sent by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers, every Tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every view of the Bell Let’s Talk video on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In 2017, they raised $6,295,764.75 for Canadian mental health programs.
I’ll preface this post by saying that if you do need help, please reach out. Reach out to friends and family, or call your local distress centre or the Mental Health Helpline, go to the hospital or call emergency services. Look for the helpers. They are out there, they want to help and you are worth more than you know.
Mental health has always been something that I have struggled with, and I’ll be perfectly honest, haven’t always been super open about. The fact is, that 1 in 5 people in Canada will experience some sort of mental health problem or illness in their lifetime. It is incredibly common, and there are ways to treat it, but the first step is always talking about it, and that can be scary.
I suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is one of those things that people just don’t quite understand because the symptoms are so different for everyone. It’s a weird feeling that is kind of difficult to describe. For me, an anxiety attack kind of feels like a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, my heart hammers in my chest like it is about to burst, I get extremely irritable, feel like I am completely overwhelmed and am losing control. I’ll often find myself in tears reminding myself to breathe. Usually my attacks don’t last too long, and are often the result of stress. It could be a completely different experience for someone else. I think the reason I never really open up about my own mental health problems is that I don’t think they are as severe as others. And that is part of the problem. Once you realize that your mental health is important, the more likely you are to get the help you need.
What I am trying to get at with this whole post is that it is okay to talk about mental health. Whether you suffer from it yourself, or know someone who might be suffering, a simple, “I am here for you,” can be the most effective way to reach out.
For more information, and how you can get help, visit the following links:
Or contact your local Distress Centre.