Facebook

Facebook

A day to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health

Today Canadians are encouraged to Facebook, Tweet, hashtag, snap or just talk about mental health

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day and Canadians are tweeting, texting, calling, using Instagram, Facebook and Snapchatting their stories to raise mental health awareness and end the stigma.

For each post —using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk on social media — Bell is donating five cents to community mental-health initiatives. Since the program began in 2011, more than $86.5 million has been donated to mental-health initiatives and more than 740,000 individuals have been given access to mental-health care.

Growing the global conversation and support for Canada’s mental health gives way to more people speaking up and allowing for improvement on access to mental-health care.

Through the Bell Let’s Talk program Community Fund, grants are being provided to projects that support mental health services for Canadians.

Grants range from $5,000 to $25, 000, and this week in the Okanagan, a $17,000 grant was recently provided to the Foundry Kelowna. The Foundry is an integrated care clinic that opened in August of last year and supports youth and families struggling with mental health and substance abuse.

In the past these grants have helped programs such as the Hope Café in North Vancouver, the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) mental illness recovery and self-management skills program in Kelowna and the Living Life to the Full for Youth course across B.C.

So far the Community Fund program has provided more than $7 million in grants and supported more than 740,000 individuals with access to mental health care.

Since the inception of Bell Let’s Talk, four out of every five Canadians have reported they are more aware of mental-health issues.

Jessica Samuels with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), says anytime communities have conversations or ‘get loud’ and talk about mental health it’s a good thing, and Bell Let’s Talk Day is a great resource for that.

“The funding aspect is also really great, we run a bunch of programs nationally and locally that give people the tools they need to embark on their mental-health journey,” she explains.

She credits Bell Let’s Talk day with being the springboard to helping end the stigma around mental health.

“We know the more we talk about it that stigma is reduced,” she says. “Since the event started, and we look at the conversations that were or were not had seven years ago, there is definitely a difference, and Bell Let’s Talk day has been integral in that.”

In Kelowna, Samuels says there has been a shift in how people handle mental health issues and conversations.

“People are talking about suicide in the community, youth suicide has been an incredible issue at a crisis level in our community and the more people are talking about it today and how that carries on throughout the year, there is a difference. The more we talk about it, the more people know they are not alone and they can get help.”

While Samuels believes Bell Let’s Talk is a day to have conversations about mental health, share their story and feel comfortable telling their stories so they can get support, she also hopes the conversation can carry through the remaining days of the year.

“We have to be able to talk about mental health, everyday and all year.”

This is me at 16. My youngest sister Paris is laying on the hospital bed to the left. It was the day after she was born, my parents were still at the hospital. I had turned around to get a diaper to change her and my then 3 and a half year old sister Chanel snapped this picture. I was a Junior, doing alright in school. I was captain in the water polo team. I had friends. We went to all the school dances. I had a big home, good food and nice clothes. And now I had two beautiful baby sisters, something I had always wanted. But I felt small. I felt insignificant. I felt like my life was one of servitude to others and not my own. I felt like I didn't matter. I was lost. I said nothing. I said nothing because I felt selfish for feeling sad. That I must be ungrateful for the things I had. So many people had it worst I must be weak. I must be soft. I needed to suck it up. I spiraled. These feelings ate away at me inside. Like a lush apple rotten at the core. Everyone thought I had everything and I thought I had nothing. I thought I had nothing until the morning I was grasping to hold onto everything I was about to lose. It was sobering. The next years we're a rollercoaster. It was hard, but finally I had direction and purpose. I was going to get better… I can't heal you. Your mom can't heal you. Your dad can't heal you. Only one person can heal you. You. Only you have the power to do that. What I can do Is listen. I can be there. We can hang on for on more day together. Let me know. Let's talk. #bellletstalk #bellletstalk2018 #bellletstalkday #bellletstalk💙 #itgetsbetter #onedayatatime

A post shared by Candice Barrans (@candicebarrans) on

Samuels explains the social aspect of Bell Let’s Talk provides a comfort level with people to share on social media, use hashtags and then there is a viral urgency which might dip off after today, but says it’s is OK because any time people are getting loud about mental health it’s helping to end the stigma.

For those struggling with any mental health issue, Samuels suggests talking to someone they feel safe with, whether that is a crisis line, a friend or a co-worker.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue so severe they will need to seek mental health attention, while the other four will be profoundly impacted by it.

“If someone comes to you and asks for help, then we (CMHA) need to help them get that help,” she explains. “At CMHA we are not a clinic and do not provide clinical services, but we are a starting point and we can help provide a list of services that are available to them.”

However for anyone in immediate crisis, please call 911 or go to your local hospital.

For a list of services and programs that CMHA provides click here.

For every view of the video below Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As part of Earth Week, Ucluelet Rotary Club member Ryan Wackett will be handing out free Clean Up Packages with grabber picker up tools at his shop Westcoast Connect from April 10 to 23. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet Rotary honours Earth Day with week long community clean up

“Let’s spring into action and clean up our beautiful communities!”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour closures coming to Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song and performance

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Ucluelet locals Rachael, Caroline and Tom enjoy refreshments on a sunny Monday afternoon at a picnic table dining area set up by the District of Ucluelet to help residents and visitors support local businesses while staying outside. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Ucluelet chamber launches bingo contest to support local restaurants

Four Ucluelet Co-op shopping sprees are up for grabs in #Ukee2go competition.

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read