Today, January 28th, is Bell Let’s Talk Day. It is a Canadian-based initiative that brings attention to the stigma associated with mental health. One of the spokespeople for this annual campaign is Olympian Clara Hughes. She has won six Olympic medals for cycling and speed skating; yes, that’s two sports and six medals! Very impressive.
As for mental health, Clara has wise words to share on the topic:
There’s an incredible stigma attached to mental health issues, to mental illness, because it’s so invisible ~Clara Hughes
The above quote from Clara is just one of many excellent ones that I could have inserted into this post from the video below. She has spoken publicly about having depression, and I explained much about it in the post How Olympian Clara Hughes Takes a Stand for Depression. As mental illness, including depression, cannot be seen, unlike many other illnesses, it is often one that onlookers struggle to understand. Is it real? Is the person faking it? Is it all made up? Unfortunately, some people tell those with mental illnesses to just “cheer up” or get back to work.
It’s not so easy a solution as that. In fact, words such as those can actually cause somebody with mental illness to feel inadequate, frustrated, sad or angry. Many times it’s a mix of all three emotions. I speak from experience and currently take antidepressant medication.
Today, January 28, you can make a difference in helping to end the stigma associated with mental illness. For Bell Let’s Talk Day, the purpose is also to increase awareness about mental health issues and discuss related attitudes. The company Bell will donate $.05 toward mental health initiatives every time you send a tweet that has the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. I will add the hashtag when I share this post on Twitter and urge you to do the same. As well, if you use Bell or Bell Aliant phone networks, every mobile, long distance call and text message made will trigger a $.05 contribution from the company toward Canadian mental health programs.
Here is more from Clara:
Bell Let’s Talk 2015 – Clara Hughes Testimonial
©2015 Christy Birmingham