LET'S REDUCE THE STIGMA


Back in 2010 the Canadian phone company Bell started a mental health awareness initiative which would be held once every year. This year, it is held on January 25th and is known as the Bell Let’s Talk Campaign. On this day, for the past seven years’ Canadians around the country are encouraged to send messages through call, text, and social media to raise money for research and reduce mental health stigma. The money raised through the campaign is also put toward workplace health and access to support services for students and the general population.

That being said, we must remind ourselves that this should not be the only day of the year in which we actively participate and think about those who need our help. Everyday should be one where mental health awareness and education is important. As it has proven to be so essential that others in your life feel comfortable enough to speak out.

At Indigo Girls we strive to help young women feel safe in their environments, to love who they are, and to become role models for future generations. We continue to make information about mental health accessible for children through workshops so that they can learn more about themselves and recognize the warning signs of a developing or living with a mental health disorder.

“We take care of our dental health. We don’t take care of our mental health… I think the solution to making this world better is if we would just be healthy, mentally.” – Howie Mandel

It’s normal for everyone to experience stress at some point in their lives. We all experience sadness and worry. It becomes unhealthy when it begins to negatively interfere with our everyday lives in the form of anxiety disorders and depression. As humans we have the ability to connect and relate, but the only way in which we can do this is to share our experiences and to open up to one another. You may feel alone with what you are going through but you are NOT. Often, you will find that the people you open up to may understand exactly how you are feeling and may have felt that way at one point in their own lives!

If you feel like you are alone and no one understand you, never give up. There are multiple service and helplines to support you. Please take a look at some of the resources listed at the bottom of this article that you can access from anywhere!

For those who do not know there are several mental illnesses’ some of which include anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and bi-polar disorders etc. These disorders effect the individual in a different way and can often be debilitating.

Here are 7 ways to promote and maintain your mental well-being!

  1. Get outside and Get some exercise

  2. Speak to 1 person about how you feel.

  3. Listen! Not only could you be helping someone else but you can learn a lot about yourself when taking the time to listen to others’ perspective.

  4. Create meaningful relationships. Hang around the type of people who push you to reach your potential and look at situations with a positive outlook.

  5. Eat Healthy! This includes taking the right amounts of vitamins and minerals for your age group. Speak to your doctor about Vitamin D, iron or B12 deficiencies. Many Canadians do not get enough vitamin D in the winter months from the lack of sun exposure.

  6. Sleep! Not only get enough sleep but make a routine out of it.

  7. Take some time to appreciate being alive and having the ability to positively influence everyone around you.

Just like Bell, our volunteers at Indigo Girls work hard to inform young girls that mental health should be a normal topic of conversation, and that you do not need to fully understand what someone is going through to help by being kind and compassionate.

“Not all wounds are visible. Walk gently in the lives of others.”-Unknown

The website below includes multiple helpline, counselling resources, and distress centers nearest to where you live:

Ontario Mental Health Services for Children and Youth

You can also contact these other helplines below!

Kids Help Phone (ages 5-20) Can be accessed 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Call: 1-800-668-6868

Good2Talk (Ages 17-25) Can be accessed 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Call: 1-866-925-5454

Mental Health Helpline (All ages)

Call: 1-866-531-2600

**If you're ever experiencing an emergency, please contact 911 or your nearest hospital.

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