Let’s Talk…and Listen.

For those that have been vacant on all forms of social media today – it is BELL LETS TALK day! If you don’t know what that is, I’ll give you a quick summary:

Today, Bell Canada will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives across the country for every Facebook share, tweet, and retweet with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag, for sending text messages and making phone calls with Bell, and (new this year!) for using the Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat geofilter. Basically…it’s the best day ever.

Not only is a ton of money being raised for mental health programs EVERYWHERE, but people are ACTUALLY talking about their mental health. It’s crazy. Every year I see more and more people opening up and sharing their stories. While some keep it short and sweet, others choose to share more intimate details. However they choose to do it, you feel empowered just reading what they have to say. It takes bravery to share so openly to the public and I applaud all those who do so.

I will be sharing a small bit of my own mental health story on Instagram and Twitter later tonight, so stay tuned.

I know people are often worried of the judgment of others when they share stories about their mental health and/or illness. Unfortunately judgement is in our human nature…but so are compassion and empathy. I completely understand how difficult it is to try to empathize with a person whose situation you feel like you could not possibly understand. However, I can say that often times it’s not understanding that people are seeking, it’s just support. I feel as though people are often so busy thinking up responses to someone’s story that you miss what the story is really about. While Bell Lets Talk is – clearly – promoting the beginning of important (and possibly) lifesaving conversations, let’s also remember the importance of listening, not just hearing.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the many amazing people I have in my life, who have supported me through thick and thin – mom, dad, my sister, my boyfriend, my friends…your presence in the difficult times are what made all the difference. I love you all.

For those who may feel unsure of who to turn to or where to go to try to break down all the things that may be running through your head, message me. Honestly. I don’t care who you are…if you need a listening ear, I have two that work quite well.

And remember, it’s important to take care of yourself FIRST. If someone is leaning on you for support but you know you are not well enough to provide the right kind of support they need, it is okay to take a step away. Whether that’s stepping away from friendships, relationships, work, volunteering, or even school. YOUR mental health comes first.

Happy Bell Let’s Talk day everyone! Let’s keep the conversation going year-round.

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