If you ever feel sad, confused, drained or avoiding social connection, then you aren’t alone. These are just some of the signs that you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health. 1 in 5 Canadians are experiencing a mental illness. Over the past few years we can all agree that the pandemic has put a strain on ourselves one way or another, whether it's with work or at home. It is important to note that young people ages 15 to 24 are more likely to experience a mental illness and/or a substance use disorder than any other age group. The number of opioid overdose deaths in Canada increased to over 90% during the pandemic and has now reached 20 deaths per day. Not only are young people struggling but adults too; once Canadians reach the age of 40, 1 in 2 people have or had been struggling with a mental disorder. It is important to check in on friends, family and co-workers because the signs may not be obvious to us but it’s real for them. More than 200 Canadians will attempt suicide every day, 12 of them will die.
Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, which started in 2010 and has since changed the lives of many people and created one of the world’s largest conversations about mental health. The organization has focused on 4 key ideas to help people: fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world class research and leading by example in workplace mental health. Since then, Bell Let’s Talk has generated more than $139 Million to Canadian mental health initiatives. As Bell Let’s Talk is continuing to ensure Canadians are getting the right help they need, 1 in 2 people struggling aren’t getting the help they need. Also, this year Bell is changing the way they make the donation. Previously, with every text or mention on social media of Bell Lets Talk (typically by using a hashtag), Bell would donate a few cents for the cause. This year, Bell is going to donate a lump sum amount of $10 million, which is more than the "donation per text" method used to gather. So, you don't have to send out 100 text messages with "Bell Lets Talk" to donate. Instead, you should reach out to your loved ones to check up on them and hopefully have a "lets talk" of your own.
If you or someone is in a crisis, please refer to the following help lines:
Talk Suicide Canada toll free at 1-833-456-4566
Wellness Together Canada:
call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth
call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults
For First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples:
If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out and act now.
Caprice Henning & Tariq Abdulhadi