I think Bell Let’s Talk Day should be more often than once a year. If not Bell Let’s Talk, similar initiatives.
Mental illness affects people year round. Those that try to hide it do so out of fear and embarrassment. It can be hard for someone with mental illness to seek help because they see seeking help as defeat, as weakness.
It can be a big pride pill to swallow to even admit suffering from a mental illness. It can take years. It took me years. The stigma of mental illness as a weakness is the biggest obstacle to overcome. Even with lots of support it’s difficult. But it’s not impossible.
If you know someone or even suspect someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, encourage them to seek help. At the very least let them know you are there for support. They probably won’t want to talk right away, but knowing that someone is there for when they’re ready to talk is huge. The support you can provide someone suffering from mental illness helps more than you know. Even if it’s just a listening ear.
If you yourself are suffering from mental illness don’t be afraid to seek help. There are resources available. Mental illness shouldn’t control your life. You should control your life. It’s MUCH easier said than done but it can be done. It’s a scary and very difficult thing to admit to having and seek help for mental illness, but there is support and help available. You’re not alone.
Let’s work to erase the stigma around mental illness. Not just today, but year round.
Contact information and other helpful links for Mental Health: