Bell Let's Talk for mental illnesses hits home for some

Marie Harrington
February 3, 2018

Scarborough Survivors are backing a national campaign that encourages people to take the time to talk about mental health and wellbeing. "Mental health problems then should be viewed as an opportunity to develop potential and not be seen as a hindrance".

The advertising campaign was the victor of the Channel 4 Annual Diversity in Advertising Award, and was designed by Lloyds Bank and its creative agency adam&eveDDB.

The language we use in reference to mental health topics reinforces their stigma and the false idea that mental illnesses are imaginary concoctions, rather than serious health issues.

Bell provided 70 grants to support programs providing mental health services in communities across the country.

Sudburians are being asked to sign a petition at www.erasethedifference.ca meant to send a strong message to provincial election candidates that mental health and addictions care in Ontario should be funded the same as physical health care.

And with another day focused on encouraging discussion about mental health here, it's important to consider the language we use when we're doing that.

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Visit www.bell.ca/LetsTalk for more information about the campaign, including how to help end the stigma and talk about mental illness. She said many people will apply a public stigma on themselves and therefore not seek help. It's nearly ingrained into us from a young age that we don't talk about our feelings, how we really are, and especially our mental health.

According to the Bell Let's Talk website, the initiative had registered close to 100 million interactions by Wednesday evening. Data from Mental Health Europe shows that people with severe mental health problems have an average reduced life expectancy of between 10-25 years, and that the annual economic cost of mental health in Europe is over €500bn. I have also reprioritised the importance of sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness for everyday physical, mental and emotion wellbeing.

"My advice for individuals who are questioning if they're facing undue mental stress, or something is going on, is to listen to yourself", Gabert said. "So the celebrity piece is really important", Stuart said. "It's still a hard thing to talk about but it's campaigns like this that are getting the conversation started".

"I'm very thankful for Bell for putting this on as well for all of the people who do speak up, because it is incredibly terrifying for people to tell their personal stories, even to their friends".

Money will also be donated if anyone uses #BellLetsTalk in a Tweet and Instagram post, views the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, or uses the Bell Let's Talk Snapchat geofilter.

20-year-old Brianne Moore from Ottawa says she started to experience anxiety at just three years old.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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