Mental health affects us all

Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 30. Join the conversation and help us surpass a billion total messages of support for mental health and $100 million in total Bell funding.

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In their words: stories from people impacted by mental illness.

5 simple ways to end the stigma and start a conversation

Stigma can often prevent those struggling with a mental illness from seeking the help they need. Developed in partnership with Dr. Heather Stuart, the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair at Queen's University, here are 5 simple ways to help end the stigma and initiate a conversation.

Your words matter

The words you use can make all the difference. Words can help, but they can also hurt. What would you choose?

  • Schizo
  • Crazy
  • Person with schizophrenia
  • Person with a mental illness

Did you know?

When it comes to mental illness, education is key. Having the right tools, knowing the right words to use and understanding how to correctly speak with someone experiencing a mental illness can make all the difference. View the Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit

Kindness is key

Simple kindness can make a world of a difference. Whether it be a smile, being a good listener or an invitation for a chat over coffee, these simple acts of kindness can help open up the conversation and let someone know you’re there for them.

Expressions like “You’ll get over it” and “Just relax” can hurt more than help. Instead, offer your support and say “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well” or better yet, ask what you can do to help.

Your presence is all it takes

Mental illness is a very common form of human pain and suffering. Being a good listener and asking how you can help or simply just being there for people you care about can be the first step to recovery.

Here are a few examples of what to ask:

  • I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.
  • I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. Is everything OK?
  • How can I help?

Break the silence

Two out of three people suffer in silence, fearing judgement and rejection. Being open to a conversation is the first step towards eliminating the stigma.

Know the facts, be kind, be a good listener and a friend. Be part of the conversation to eliminate the stigma once and for all.

With Bell Let’s Talk’s generous gift of $1 million and matched government funding, Strongest Families Institute will be able to help more than 2,000 additional children, youth and families in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, President & CEO, Strongest Families Institute

The Hamlet of Arviat with the funding support from Bell Let's Talk was able to train youth workers at the Youth Drop-In Centre in Peer Support Skills, Healthy Relationships, Coping Skills and Bullying. Our youth workers work with number of youth in the community population of approximately 3,000.

Michelle Malla, Director of Community Development, Hamlet of Arviat

In the last year alone, Bell has funded 1,000 telephone and online counselling hours, which means more than 8,900 one-on-one counselling sessions were empowering young people nationwide.

Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone

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