Bell Lets Talk – Mental Health Awareness

bellletstalk

Bell Lets Talk is an initiative started about six years ago to end the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health. It takes place once a year, January 27th 2016 being the most recent edition. It was a pleasure to see millions of people on twitter through text and on Facebook supporting such a noble cause. The one problem and the reason why this post is being posted a week later is because mental health is something that should be discussed year round and not just one day throughout the year.

I don’t claim to be an expert on Mental Health nor am I an expert on treating various Mental Health issues. The purpose of this post is to spread some more light on the issue overall and to continue the discussion.

To many the solution to mental health issues is not as easy to solve as many common health issues that you may have. You have a cut put a Band-Aid on it, you have a headache take an Advil, you are getting a cold take a Tylenol, drink some green tea and take grandmas remedy which has been passed down from generation to generation. Solutions to those health problems are common place and to most easily solved.

Many people don’t know what to do when someone says they are feeling down, for some reason they are in a funk they cant get out of. You go to your boss and ask for a day to stay home because they need a personal mental health day. The stigma and difficulty is not only with the conversation surrounding the issue but with how you help the person once the conversation has begun.

For many people at one time in our life we face a mental obstacle. Sometimes that obstacle is overcome very easily, for some it takes longer than others, for some it is an obstacle that is with them their whole life.

Personally I have not been clinically diagnosed with depression. It has been suggested that I see a mental health professional however that stigma has always been present within myself. How do I discuss how I’m feeling, nothing is wrong with me I’m just in a funk, just keep at it these bad days of feeling blue will eventually turn for the better. Problem is that it usually doesn’t. For myself those mental obstacles linger longer then most. Personally at my age its hard sometimes to see where other peoples lives are and where I am at with mine. Whenever I feel like I’m taking one step forward a bump in the road occurs and I end up taking two steps back.

My days began to turn into nights, 80% of my day I spent in my room surrounded by the same four walls. If it wasn’t for when I take my dog out for a walk or watch an episode or two with my family I would probably never leave the confines of these four walls. For months at a time the routine would be the same. Sleep through the day wake through the night, your mind is racing 100 miles per hour trying to find a way to get out of that “funk” your in. Most times I try to be the life of the party so when I go out I put on that happy face be the person that everyone is used to seeing. Only to come back home and sit again inside the confines of my four walls. I wouldn’t get a haircut, personal appearance would go to the wayside, eating would help soothe some of the issues I was going through as it does for most.

For months at a time that was my routine. I should have sought the help of a professional, it would have helped me out in more ways than one. Somehow after a long time I found my way out of it. I find myself to be very lucky, I’m lucky to have a strong support staff. I have a family that goes out of their way to support me and make sure I’m trying to be the best of myself that I can be. On top of that I have an amazing group of friends who are supportive and motivating at the same time. I am one of the lucky ones.

For many they don’t have the same avenues. They don’t have someone to talk too, someone to share their feelings with, someone to give them a boost when they need it. That is where the stigma around mental health needs to be addressed. People need to have those avenues of discussion. It needs to be an all year discussion and not an all day one. Bell is serving a great purpose bringing the issue to the forefront its up to us to keep it there.

For anyone that is looking for assistance here are a few links below to help you get the support you need:

Canadian Mental Health Association

Mental Health Helpline

Teen Mental Health

 

 

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