Each year, Bell Let’s Talk Day encourages Canadians to continue to enter into the difficult conversations surrounding our mental health.
Today we acknowledge the stigma associated with mental health and commit to becoming part of the solution.
Today we recognize that language matters – today we remind ourselves how important it is to pay attention to the words we use about mental illness and be part of the dialogue that will break the silence and bring the challenge of mental health out of the shadows.
We need to do a much better job explaining that so often we are asking the wrong question. Instead of “what is the matter with him or her?”, we should be asking “what happened to him or her?”.
We need to recognize the role that trauma and previous sexual abuse plays in the genesis of addictions. Trauma leads to shame and anger. Victims often seek drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. All too often to suicide, to violence and incarceration.
Survivors need a safe place to talk. They were harmed as children, they didn’t deserve to be harmed. They need to know we understand and will be with them on their healing journey.
Bell Let’s Talk provides an opportunity for all of us to learn more about mental health. Today we all become better able to address the discomfort we have felt in dealing with those friends and family struggling with mental health issues. Today we commit to be a better friend, to be kind, to not be afraid of to tell someone that you are worried that they “don’t seem themselves today” – and then to listen and stay with them as they seek the help they need.
So on Bell Let’s Talk Day, let’s talk, text and inundate the social media to help end the stigma around mental illness from coast to coast to coast.