January 27, 2015

Let's End the Stigma

Bell Let's Talk January 25

According to the Canadian Institute of Health and Research,  1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life. 

It could be a colleague or close friend, maybe even your mom, dad or sibling. 

It's possible that because of their fear of judgement and rejection, they may be suffering in silence. 

You may not even know. 

Mood and anxiety disorders impact an estimated 22% of the Canadian population, my family included. Two months ago, we lost a vital member of our family to mental illness. An uncle, a husband, a brother, a son and a father. It was a tragic and unexpected loss that my family may never fully understand. However, amongst the grief, it created a conversation within my family. It broke the stigma that had been there for so many years. It created the conversation that mental illness is very real, and it must be talked about.

Whether mental illness somehow has touched your life, or not, there are many ways to help end the stigma that keeps too many who struggle with mental illness from seeking the help they need. Here are 5.

Language matters.  

Words can help, but they can also hurt. Pay attention to the words you use. 

Educate yourself. 

There are many mythes surrounding mental illness that create the stigma. Learn the facts.

Be kind. 

Small acts of kindness speak volumes. Treat everyone like you would want to be treated. 

Listen and ask. 

Sometimes listening speaks volumes. Ask if you can help.

Talk about it. 

Start a dialogue, not a debate. Break the silence and the stigma.

Tomorrow is January 28, #BellLetsTalk DayBell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

  • Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Facebook image share
  • Mobile and long distance call made (*Bell customers only)
  • Text message sent (*Bell customers only)

Located outside of Canada? Mental illness doesn't have borders. Please help the fight by retweeting,

From my family to you, thank you for joining the fight.



  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. As someone who is personally affected by mental illness, it is so encouraging to see all that is being done to help reduce stigma. I love your 5 ways - thank you so much for this post.

  2. This is really great information. I'm glad this day is happening and I hope more conversations will happen today! Thank you for sharing your story. I often really struggle with finding a balance of being able to be open and all the fear that comes with it. I recently did this interview: http://www.yesandyes.org/2014/09/true-story-my-dad-has-paranoid.html and I hope it helps others to learn. <3 to you!


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