#BellLetsTalk

First post!

I think a good first post topic is the #letstalk social media campaign held by Bell here in Canada every year. It’s focus is to spread awareness for mental illness and to raise funds. The information can be found on their site here.

I personally do not have a mental illness. I, like most people, have felt what I’ll call “mental stress” (although there’s probably a better term for it) due to environmental/situational issues. I’ve felt anxiety, depression, I’ve had panic attacks. I’ve been traumatized. But I don’t know what it is like to live every single day with mental illness. I won’t even pretend to know what that’s like.

I do, however love people that do. I’ve seen the affects of ADD/ADHD, OCD, Depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorder, and those who live with mental illness but have never gotten a proper diagnosis.

Mental illness. is. hard.

And people do not understand, nor do we as a society take the time to understand what its like for those who live with these conditions. We marginalize, make assumptions, ignore, or worse. And thats not OK. We need to change.

We need to care about what our friends, family, and neighbours are going through. We need to find ways to make life easier for them. Whatever that may look like.

To those individuals who fight through their illness, the stigma, and whatever other roadblocks there may be to getting help: know that I see how hard it can be for you. And your strength and determination to take care of yourself and make yourself a real priority is a beautiful thing. Keep going.

Quick facts about the face of mental illness in Canada:

Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.

20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.

Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.

About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”

– Canadian Mental Health Association

If you are struggling in some way, please take care of yourself and seek help. Talk to someone you trust. Talk to your doctor. Find a therapist or a psychiatrist who can directly help you address whatever the issue may be.

Even if it’s the stress of a temporary situation that’s causing you to struggle in some way- don’t downplay that. Reach out and find help. Reach out to those who love you. Take care of yourself.

You’re loved. You’re worth it. And it will get better.

Quick links for anyone needing to reach out:

Your Life Counts (Lifelines across Canada and internationally)
Suicide Prevention (education and access to crisis lines across Canada)

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