Here we are again. Another Bell Let’s Talk Day. Operative word is ‘day’. Why do we only talk about our Mental Health on this day? Do you only suffer in January? No. Mental illness is something that people deal with all year round.
The past few years on Bell Let’s Talk, I’m always shocked to find out that another one of my friends/acquaintances is going through something. Because no one shares their struggles because it is looked down upon…unless it’s on a day that is raising awareness for it. But shouldn’t we be talking about it every day to truly bring awareness and normalize this issue that affects nearly 1 in 5 Canadians. Last year I shared my mental health journey, and this year I want to share how we can continue the discussion of MH all year round.
One main thing I’ve started doing when I’m catching up with friends is asking them about how their mental health is. Just like how you’d ask “how’s work?” “how’ve you been?”, just bringing it up like any other conversational piece. (Obviously: be sensitive and realize if someone doesn’t want to share). Also remember that people are most likely to share more about themselves if you share with them first. At times I have noticed that with some friends you have to “force” them to share. And no I don’t mean forcing them to tell you everything but they don’t want to share because they think they’re being a burden.
My main piece of advice for anyone that has a mental illness, if you’ve had it for years or were recently diagnosed, try to find one person, one, that will be your rock, your confidant, your listener. Whether it be a friend, a family member, a teacher, a co-worker, etc. Find that person that you can confide in and talk about what you’re going through because chances are they’re going through something as well. And remember try weaving in mental health into your day-to-day conversations with friends, because that’s what’ll really bring awareness to this topic.
So let’s talk about it 365 days and not just 1 day.
Remember if you ever need help:
Distress Centre: 416-408-HELP (4357)