End the Stigma. Break the Silence.
In Canada, every year we celebrate Bell Let’s Talk Day – coming up on January 30, 2019. While this day is a great reminder that it’s important to talk about mental illness, we need to be mindful 365 days of the year.
Today’s post will be focused on awareness – something we can accomplish simply by talking about ours and addressing others’ mental health.
Remember: one in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. 20% is substantial – this is proof you are not alone! Two thirds of those living with mental illness do not seek help or counselling due to stigma.
It can be difficult to bring up any struggles that you, someone you know, or someone you suspect are having. Here are a few reminders on ‘how to’ talk about mental health with others:
If someone brings up the topic with you…
– Listen. Let them finish their sentences and complete thoughts without interrupting.
– Let them know you understand. Avoid being judgmental.
– Acknowledge their feelings, and let them know they are not alone. Tell a story of someone you know who is struggling and recently sought help.
– Try not to dismiss their feelings or brush it off. (Examples of this would be: ‘you’re just having a bad week’, or ‘it’s not that bad’).
– If they are open to it, offer to help them find a professional. This one task may seem overwhelming to them and your help may be much appreciated.
If you want to bring up the topic with someone, try these prompting phrases:
– I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well
– I’ve noticed you seem down lately
– Is everything okay?
– How can I help?
– What do you need right now?
After the conversation…
– Respect if they ask you to keep it between the two of you.
– Ensure to follow up with them, rather than having this one-time conversation. After this moment, they will appreciate your continued support.
For more tips on how to contribute to funding for care, access, and research for mental health through the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, look for our next blog post this coming week.
Try talking to one person about something you have found challenging lately. Tell someone you have noticed they have been struggling. If you would like to learn more about how to talk about mental health, to learn more about psychotherapy, to book or to help someone book an appointment, please call Carly at 647-961-9669, or or email firstname.lastname@example.org.