Social media shows support for #BellLetsTalk Day
Published Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:03PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:23PM AST
The Twitterverse was humming with activity in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day Wednesday. From firefighters, to hockey players, people took to social media to show their support for the initiative that aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates five cents for every text message, mobile and long distance call, share of the Facebook image or Tweet using #BellLetsTalk.
Last year the company recorded more than 122 million interactions and since the awareness campaign began five years ago $73 million has been raised for mental health initiatives across the country.
One of the biggest hurdles for those suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma that comes along with it.
“When we struggle with mental health issues, having a dialogue about it to destigmatize this topic is essential and I think a day like today puts it up front for all of us,” says Chief Eric Arsenault, of the Moncton Fire Department.
A first responder’s job can be dangerous and difficult. Firefighters have to be prepared to deal with any incident while on scene and once they get home.
“It's ok to talk about these things, it's ok to admit a scene was difficult for someone to absorb, to deal with and through dialogue, through conversations understanding you're not by yourself,” says Arsenault.
Communication is key in creating an environment where people feel comfortable talking about their feelings.
“With mental illness it's often not a visible illness, so sometimes it's challenging for people to come out and talk about it,” says Ryan Jenner, with the Moncton Wildcats.
That's why the Moncton Wildcats hockey organization has an open door policy for any player or staff who may need to talk.
“They know they can talk to our athletic therapist, our coaches, or other support personnel any time they have an issue. It's never a judgement. We want to know about it, we want to be able to work with them to get through it,” says Jenner.
Talking about feelings has traditionally been difficult for high level athletes.
“You're supposed to be tough and persevere and fight through anything and often times that maybe isn't fair, so it's something they need to feel comfortable talking about,” says Jenner.
Last year a record number of calls, texts, and tweets were made with #BellLetsTalk, which translated into more than $6 million for mental health initiatives.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis