Let’s Talk…

Today is Bell Canada “Let’s Talk” Day.

You can say what you will about Bell Canada as a service provider but there is no denying that their “Let’s Talk” campaign is nothing short of amazing.

Since Bell is a communications provider, taking a stand to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and encouraging us to talk about it is such a fitting campaign.

It is incredible to see how well this campaign has been embraced, loudly and proudly. From the social media photo frames with the #Let’sTalk campaign artwork to the tweets with the #LetsTalk hashtag.

I have seen first-hand how this campaign has broken down invisible walls. I’ve seen members of senior management send out emails to an entire organization sharing their own battle with mental illness and offer an open door to anyone who might need to chat. I’ve seen friends on social media open up about their own struggles for the first time. I’ve seen people connect over similar struggles and realize that they are not alone in their fight or their suffering. Above all, I have seen it become more and more normal to talk about mental illness.

The Bell “Let’s Talk” campaign started in 2010 and in a way, it caught the nation off-guard. We weren’t talking about mental illness. Mental illness was a bit of a faux-pas, something to feel ashamed of, to hide from the world and to discuss behind closed doors while putting on a happy face to the outside world.

We have come a long way since that first Bell “Let’s Talk” Day 8 years ago. We see the “Let’s Talk” logo or hashtag and we know what it means. We accept mental illness as a real illness a little bit more. We become a little more compassionate and (hopefully) give a little more attention than we normally would to friends and family who are sharing their stories.

When you are battling a mental illness, it is easy to feel defeated and alone. In a world where social media allows us to paint our lives with a brush that only shows the good, the beautiful and the happy, it’s easy to feel that the “grass” truly is “greener on the other side.” After all, we don’t typically post about getting into arguements with our spouses, the times we overreacted and yelled at our kids, photos of the piles of dirty laundry that didn’t make it to the hamper or the sink full of dirty dishes. We share the good and hide the ugly.

In a world where it is easier than ever to only show our lives through rose-coloured glasses, it is more important than ever to be real, be open and to be honest.

So, let’s talk…

To the high school girl who wonders how she will ever survive the next few years because life is so damn hard, Let’s Talk.

To the man lying awake at night who wonders when things will get easier and if he will ever sleep through the night again, Let’s Talk.

To the new mom who is wondering if it is normal to feel this sad, this tired, this irritated and this alone during such a happy time, Let’s Talk.

To the dad who can’t figure out why he is so damn irritable and regrets being short with his wife and kids AGAIN today, Let’s Talk.

To the woman who is so ridiculously tired that just sitting at the table for dinner is a mental battle, Let’s Talk.

To the boy who questions his worth and wonders how he will get through another day of feeling the way he does, Let’s Talk.

To anyone who is questioning whether or not it is normal to feel the way that you, Let’s Talk. There is lots of support out there. Please don’t battle this alone.

I look forward to a day where everyday is “Let’s Talk” Day but until then, let’s share our stories, let’s offer support where we can, let’s talk… and let’s listen.

Much Love xo

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