Posted on: January 30, 2018
On January 31’s Let’s Wear Blue TRU! Let’s demonstrate that it is ok to talk about mental health at TRU – we are open to having courageous conversations about mental health! Help us reduce the stigma.
In January, individuals across Canada are gathering their courage to break the silence around mental illness by sharing stories of stigma, shame and suffering. Through these personal narratives, we learn what it means to be strong in the face of unimaginable struggles. Although 1/5 Canadians will face a mental health issue in their lifetime, 2/3 do not seek help. The negative treatment or judgement someone may unfairly receive due to the stigmatization of mental illness prevents individuals from speaking up and seeking help.
Started as an initiative to create private and public dialogues about mental health, Bell’s “Let’s Talk” campaign was launched in 2010. Texts, calls, tweets, Instagram, Facebook and snapchats lead to 5¢ donations to Bell’s community fund program. Last year, Bell raised over 6.5 million dollars, bringing the running total to over 79 million dollars donated to mental health support systems across Canada.
The goal of this event is to normalize conversations about mental health everyday, not just one day each year. A platform is provided to help individuals reach out, find help, and support others across a local and national community. In the last five years, 4/5 Canadians report an increased awareness about mental health. There is strength in numbers, and the more people who participate, the more the knowledge about mental health is exchanged.
The TRU Wellness Centre is participating in Bell’s “Let’s Talk” campaign as a means of supporting student success through the creation of safe spaces. Students can come in to the Wellness Centre to chat about mental health issues, and to extend that conversation across the entire campus. By working together, we can create a community that recognizes the challenges of seeking help and supporting others in overcoming barriers.
How can you challenge the stigma around mental health? Remember, language matters. People aren’t “crazy”, and they can’t just “get over it”. Educate yourself so that you have a basic understanding of what it means to face mental health issues. Knowledge is power, and you can use that power to help other people. Be kind. Think of the old adage to treat others as you want to be treated. Ask questions and listen closely—they deserve to be heard. And always, always – talk about it! Silence and stigma are so tightly interconnected that it can be difficult to tell the two apart. Ask difficult questions, have courageous conversations, and remember that you are not alone.
“Talk about it. Dance about it. Cry about it. But don’t keep quiet about it” – Ryan Reynolds
Join the conversation on campus Wednesday, January 31. Events are as follows:
Student Street’s Listening Lounge and/or the Campus Campfire at the Campus Green, 11am – 2pm
Let’s Talk TRU Chicken Dinner at The Den, 6-8pm