It was Bell Let’s Talk Day yesterday (28 January). This is a multi-year charitable program in which Bell has committed over $100 million to support different types of mental health organizations, large and small, from all parts of Canada. The objective of the program is to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada.
One of the biggest barriers for anyone suffering from mental health problem is overcoming the stigma. It is the major reason why 2/3rd of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.
In order to fight the stigma around mental illness, The Family Enhancement Centre urge all its friends to come forward and support the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. All of us can make a difference by spreading the awareness about the impact of mental illness and get people discussing openly about it at home, at school and at workplaces.
5 Simple tips that you can follow to end the stigma around mental illness
- Language – Pay attention to the words you use. Explain to people who use words like “psycho” or “nut” without thinking that their comments may be hurtful and provide an alternative view.
- Educate yourself – Learn the facts and myths about mental illness. This will help in understanding the early warning signs and where to seek support.
- Be Kind – Be kind to people who are suffering from mental illness. Treat them with the kindness and care you give to people with some other illness. Offer a friendly smile. Be a helping hand.
- Listen & Ask – Do not make fun of someone’s illness. Listen about their problem and say things like “I hear what you are going through and I’m sorry to hear that. It must be a difficult time. Is there anything I can do to help?”
- Talk about it – Talk about how mental illness affect us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Spread awareness about where and how to seek support.
We also encourage you to share your success stories or someone you know. Share what was the challenge and how you overcame it. By talking openly, we can make people understand that mental illness is a common problem and help is available.