Student Life Editor
Throughout their lifetime, approximately 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness. Out of those affected, 10-20% aren’t even adults yet. In order to combat the stigma surrounding mental illness, Bell Let’s Talk began an open discussion in 2010 regarding the mental health of Canadians. Millions spoke up, offering new ideas for ways to raise awareness and to aid those wrestling with the difficulties attributed to their mental illness. Due to the success of the campaign, Bell Let’s Talk has raised almost $100 million towards access, care and research in mental health programs. However, even with all the effort put forth to end the stigma, two-thirds of those living with mental illness are too afraid to seek help.
So how can YOU help? For starters, watch your language! When addressing someone with a mental illness, be careful with the words and terms you choose to use; you could end up unintentionally closing them off more than they already are. Next, you’ll want to educate yourself. Reading the facts and myths about mental illness can help you better understand what someone is going through and separating their reality from a societal stereotype. Thirdly: be kind! Treat people with respect and let them know you will be there if they want to confide in you. Being a good listener and offering help can make a huge difference to those who are afraid to ask for help themselves. Finally, talk about it! Take actions to break the silence. By engaging in conversation about mental illness, stereotypes will be challenged and people will be much more open-minded. Kindness, the words we use, and listening make all the difference when it comes to mental health. JAC’s “Let’s Talk” is all about creating these important conversations. And one day, it hopes to accomplish its goal: to break the stigma surrounding mental health. On January 30th, Bell will donate more towards their initiatives by contributing 5 cents for every text, call, tweet, hashtag, social media video view and picture that uses a Facebook frame or Snapchat filter dedicated to their cause. So text away, watch that video and post that hashtag! Every contribution you make, will cause a difference in the long run.
Join us on Wednesday, January 30th from 10:00 am-2:00 pm in the Agora for JAC’s “Let’s Talk”.
There will be displays from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, after which a guest speaker will present.
Join the conversation on Mental Health at:
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 07 on January 30th, 2018