Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bell Let’s Talk Day

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day – it’s about taking the stigma out of mental illness and making it easier for people to talk about their experiences and seek help when necessary.

If you’ve been reading regularly you know I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life. Anxiety has been my constant companion and depression came calling after the birth of my first child. I have managed through a combination of talk therapy, writing and natural therapies to overcome depression and I’m happy and grateful to say I’ve been depression free now for about 8 years.

Then there’s my anxiety...as I mentioned it’s been my constant companion my whole life. I call it my companion because it’s a part of who I am and in so doing it lowers (for me) the anger and frustration I often feel towards it.

I have only just started speaking more openly about my anxiety and how it affects my life in recent years. I feel fortunate that most of the people I’ve spoken with have been understanding and kind but I know that’s not the case for all people. It needs to be. Mental illness is no different than physical illness.

We need to make it safe for people to talk about their experiences and to get the help they need. There should be no more shame in seeking help for depression/anxiety or any other mental health issue than seeking help for diabetes or arthritis.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes out of your day today to check out www.letstalk.bell.ca and if you have mental health issues maybe today will be the day you feel safe enough to talk about them. You always have an ear here – I’d be happy to hear your stories of struggle and of triumph.

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