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Bell’s Let’s Talk Day

Today, February 12 is Bell’s Let’s Talk Day.  A day to bring awareness to mental health issues.

http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

In support of this designated day Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health for every text and long distance call by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image.

“The stigma associated with mental illness can be the biggest barrier to people getting the help they need,” said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO, Bell Aliant. “We are proud to partner in this national initiative once again, and we are encouraging our employees and our customers to participate, so together we can help raise awareness and provide much-needed assistance to the one in five Canadians impacted by mental illness.”  (Bell)

The thing is, there’s no shame in having a mental health issue.  And that seems to be a problem as many people are embarrassed to admit they have a mental health ‘disease’.  I suffered from a major depression diagnosis for years and years and for the longest time I was embarrassed to tell anyone.  I didn’t want people to know that I had to take medication to keep my mood “up” and so I wouldn’t cry for 10 hours straight a day.

Then one day I realized that hey, this disease is not a fault.  It’s not something I can readily control.  It’s no different than having some other type of disease.   And so, with that realization I was able to overcome my fear and my embarrassment and my shame and just deal with it.  And be proud of it because now I can overcome obstacles and educate people who are ignorant of mental health illnesses.

When I was in college I found a good friend of mine in a bathtub after he’d slit his wrists.  He was severely depressed.  Fortunately, he trudged thru that incident, spent some time in a psychiatric ward and now has a beautiful family.  Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, The Man lost a good friend to suicide as a result of his depression.  Some people are lucky to have others reach out to them.  Some people choose to keep their illness a secret.

Mental health illnesses aren’t something you can see or touch.  But you can see the people that harbour them.  They have faces.  They feel pain and they appreciate smiles and hugs.

So, keep this shiz in mind and if you are a Bell customer, text and tweet like CRAZY (pun!!) today.

Cheers.

PS.  Just to reiterate comments I’ve made in the past, some mental health illness are beyond huggy help.  Some people need serious medical and psychological intervention.  If you know someone who is seriously ‘mental’ and you have an inclination (even just an offbeat comment) that he/she may hurt him/herself or someone else, you have the obligation to report this person to an authority figure or to at least someone who will take you seriously.

And Dear God, to avoid another Sandy Hook or Aurora theatre or Columbine massacre, please, PLEASE do not give a looney toon access to a gun!!

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One response

  1. tanyaslife

    *hug*
    Mental illness is hard to talk about. Kudos to Bell for trying to end the stigmatism, and kudos to you for sharing your story, and kudos to those people in Halifax who took time out of their day on Feb 12th to break a world record, and talk mental health (http://unews.ca/halifax-breaks-guinness-record-for-texting/ ).
    EVERYONE has had a mental illness of one degree to another. We all need help at some point.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:40 am

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