Beth Beattie

Barely a year ago, Beth “came out of the mental illness closet,” as she puts it. As a lawyer, she felt her profession was far too unlikely to understand her reality to want to talk about it. Fourteen years earlier, she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Beth had the support of a few caring friends and family members, but she kept her illness secret beyond this closed circle. At work, she didn’t want to be alienated because of her situation, or passed over by her bosses when it came to handling complex cases. And based on her family upbringing, she wasn’t one to openly share her personal problems. As a result, she found herself doubly stigmatized—by society and also by her own doing. In spite of everything, Beth was dealing well with her illness and was managing to live a relatively balanced life. But the burden of her secret weighed heavily on her every day. One day, two of her co-workers were talking to her, individually, about mental illness issues their family members were dealing with. Based on her personal experience, Beth knew she could provide some help by sharing a bit of information. But it would mean confiding in them. This was the perfect opportunity to talk openly about it for the first time. So Beth took the plunge and told her story. She was astonished by the feeling of freedom and relief that washed over her. This was the first step. She was overjoyed to discover that her co-workers and superiors were receptive and positive about the confidences she was sharing. From there, Beth took further opportunities to raise awareness about mental health. She also advocated being open-minded and proactive about mental illness. At last, Beth was able to talk about it. Since then, she has even admitted she finds it hard to stop talking about it! After feeling isolated and alone with her secret for 14 years, she now feels liberated, and she wants to help others achieve the same thing.

Bell Let's Talk Day

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, the entire nation spoke up. Your actions resulted in Bell committing more money to mental health and helped Canada become one step closer towards being a country that’s stigma-free.

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The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is focused on improving access to supports and services for people living with mental illness through local projects and grassroots organizations in communities all around Canada.

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