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January 29th, 2020 is Bell Let’s Talk Day

Posted in: Mental Health | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on January 29, 2020

**If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs immediate assistance.
Get help. Go to your nearest hospital or call 911**

The conversation starts today, January 29th, with Bell Let’s Talk (#BellLetTalk) day bringing attention to mental health awareness and helping to break the silence surrounding mental illness. It continues Mental Health Week, May 4th-10th, 2020, with a campaign (#GetLoud) promoting open discussion regarding mental illness, how to stop the associated discrimination and stigma, while raising awareness and building support for those who suffer. Then culminates in October with Mental Illness Awareness Week, an effort coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health designed to open the eyes of Canadians to mental illness.

Mental health is part of our daily lives at home, at play and at work, it affects all of us, whether directly or indirectly, whether we are aware of it or not. How we feel, think and interact with those around us can have a powerful impact on their mental wellbeing and our own. Here are some interesting mental health facts you may not be aware of:

  1. Mental illness is the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada
  2. 1 out of every 5 Canadians will experience some form of mental illness at some point in their lives.
  3. On any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness.
  4. 2 out of every 3 people suffer in silence, afraid that they will be judged or rejected.
  5. Mental health problems and illnesses cost the Canadian Economy at least $50 billion per year.

Staying mentally healthy is like staying physically fit, it takes a conscious effort to face the stresses, challenges, and demands that we experience, even on a daily basis, and to continue to cope and function in a positive and productive way. Taking charge of your own mental well-being is the first and most important step in maintaining an overall healthy living environment. Whether your issues are physical, emotional, personal or financial, seeking help from professionals, implementing positive mental health tips and accessing resources on-line, through workshops or in-person can provide and sustain a healthy life balance.

Although you may have found your equilibrium, often it is those around us that struggle to find that balance and are in need of understanding, support and compassion. Being able to identify someone who is suffering, learning how to interact with them, figuring out how to support them and helping others to understand them can help create a healthy and safe community for those who are battling mental illness. Here are 5 simple things that you can do every day:

  1. Pay attention to the words you use. 
  2. Educate yourself about the facts and myths surrounding mental illness.
  3. Be kind. Even saying hi or small acts of kindness can make a difference.
  4. Learn to listen. Sometimes that is all someone needs.
  5. Talk about it. Not about them but mental illness in general. Starting a dialogue can make mental illness part of normal conversation.

Ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is essential to creating meaningful change and building greater awareness and acceptance of the challenges of mental health. It is through this change and accepts that the impact mental illness has on our workplace and economy can be reduced or minimized. And it is only when we, collectively as a society, embrace this change and acceptance that we can truly make a difference.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs immediate assistance, get to your nearest hospital or call 911. If you or someone you know is having trouble coping or is in need of help, you talk to your family physician, access EAP (Employee Assistance Program) at work or contact the Canadian Mental Health Association(CMHA).

“Getting loud means speaking up to stop the discrimination and the stigma that often go hand in hand with mental illness. It means using your voice to raise awareness and build support. For someone at home. For someone at work. For yourself.“

The quote above was taken from the Mental Health Week website.

If you would like more information about the WCB’s Benefit of Doubt policy, how it is applied and how it impacts your premiums, you can contact us directly at BCL.Calgary@bclconsulting.ca, BCL.Edmonton@bclconsulting.ca, by phone, at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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