No one needs to suffer in silence

For more than three decades, CounterAttack ads have been running in British Columbia, addressing the issue of impaired driving.

They have certainly had an impact, with more than a generation of folks better understanding the perils of such behaviour.

A fair more important campaign and conversation began nine years ago – and it’s a conversation that needs to continue.

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Jan. 30. You’ve likely seen or heard some of the catchy ads that are part of the campaign, aimed at driving home the notion that we must all end the stigma associated with mental health.

On Jan. 30, Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

The goals is to help surpass a billion total messages of support and $100 million in total Bell funding.

The campaign promotes awareness and action with a strategy built on four key pillars: fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.

The more this matter is discussed, the better things will become. No longer is “out of sight, out of mind” an acceptable way of dealing with this issue. People require assistance for mental health issues. That is just reality.

No one needs to suffer in silence. Too many people have fallen through the cracks when it comes to getting that assistance.

Bell officials point out that “one of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma attached to it.” and the campaign helps reduce this stigma and promote awareness and understanding, and talking is an important first step towards lasting change.

Mental health issues affect everyone in all professions. It affects not just individuals, but their families, friends and co-workers as well.

Basically, everyone. Funding and government support is important.

Education is important. So is understanding. The assistance must be there, the support constant. And the message has to be put out there as often and as loudly as possible.

Mental health is a sensitive issue for most people, regardless of their occupation or situation.

It is enormously important that the dialogue continues surrounding those mental health issues in this province. Talking is the first step toward meaningful change and building greater awareness, acceptance, and action.

If you’re dealing with your own mental health issues, know that you’re not alone.

On Jan. 30, and every other day as well, let’s talk.

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