You might have seen some commercials over the past few weeks that depict conversations around mental illness between ordinary people (some of whom seem like real jerks based on their internal monologues). You might also be seeing a lot of chatter about the subject on Twitter or in your Facebook news feed today. The commercials and social media efforts are all part of Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign that aims to raise mental health awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
What is Bell Let’s Talk?
Bell Let’s Talk is a multi-year charitable program dedicated to mental health, to which Bell has committed over $100 million. It’s based on four pillars: first and foremost, ending the stigma attached to mental illness and promoting awareness; second, improving care and access to treatment; third, addressing mental health in the workplace; and fourth, supporting mental health research.
How does it work?
On January 27th, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every text message sent and every mobile and long distance call made by Bell customers. If you’re not Bell customer, you can still participate - Bell will donate 5¢ for every tweet using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag and for every share of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook image.
Where can I get help?
If you’re suffering from a mental illness, getting the right help can feel like an overwhelming task. The Peel branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association is a great place to start and has some invaluable resources, including a 24/7 crisis support hotline.
Trillium Health Partners, a group of hospitals which includes Mississauga Hospital (at Queensway & Hurontario) and Credit Valley Hospital (at Erin Mills & Eglinton), offer a variety of inpatient programs, including one of the leading programs of its kind for eating disorders.
For seniors, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has a Mississauga branch dedicated to geriatric mental health.
For youth, Kids Help Phone provides 24/7 counselling that is both anonymous and confidential.