Stigma-Free Society strongly supports the mission behind Bell Let’s Talk Day, observed on January 24th. This powerful initiative fosters open conversations about mental health, breaks down stigma, and promotes understanding and empathy – goals that are at the heart of our charity. As we approach this important day, we want to give you the tools you need to participate alongside us and actively contribute to raising mental health awareness!
What Is Bell Let’s Talk?
The Bell Let’s Talk campaign was launched by Bell Canada in 2010 with the goal of combating the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting dialogue that leads to greater understanding and support. The initiative encourages individuals to take action, both online and offline, to create a society that is more inclusive and empathetic toward those facing mental health challenges.
7 Ways to Take Action on Bell Let’s Talk Day:
1. Join the Conversation
On January 24th, share your experiences, thoughts, and messages of support to contribute to the global conversation on mental health. Use the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on social media to
join people around the world in breaking the stigma. Read their stories and share your own if you feel inclined.
Share your story with Stigma-Free Society: Tag us on social media and use the hashtag #StigmaFree to let us know how you are taking action on January 24th!
2. Educate Through the Student Mental Health Toolkit
Educators and school staff can play a pivotal role in shaping young minds and fostering a stigma-free environment. Our no-cost Student Mental Health Toolkit offers comprehensive lesson plans, downloadable resources, and classroom activities designed to educate students about mental health and break the stigma surrounding it. Parents/guardians and caregivers can also use these resources to discuss mental health with kids or teens. While it can be difficult to start these conversations with young people, our resources – including our resources for Coping with Mental Health – make it simple. By integrating these resources into the curriculum on Bell Let’s Talk Day, we empower the next generation with vital knowledge about mental health.
3. Support a Friend
Due to the stigma around mental health, many people feel reluctant to share their own challenges and seek support. Use this day as an opportunity to start conversations about mental health with your loved ones: check in on them and learn how you can provide support when they need it. By sharing your experiences with them, you can help them feel more comfortable opening up.
4. Raise Awareness About Rural Mental Health
Rural residents often face unique challenges, including increased stigma around mental health. Our Rural Mental Wellness Toolkit addresses these specific needs by providing tailored resources to those living in rural or agricultural areas. By bringing mental health education to rural areas, we aim to bridge the gap and ensure everyone has access to the support they deserve. If you are a rural resident, we invite you to share our no-cost resources with your community and encourage open conversations around mental health.
5. Care for Your Mental Health
Taking care of yourself is just as important as caring for others. In light of Bell Let’s Talk Day, try setting aside some time for activities that help you feel relaxed and take care of your mind and body. Meditation, mindfulness practices, and even exercise are all great ways to care for your mental health this month. After all, emotional wellness and physical wellness are deeply connected.
6. School Staff: Schedule a Virtual Stigma-Free Presentation
If you are an educator, parent/guardian or caregiver, you can get your school involved in Bell Let’s Talk Day by educating them on mental health and stigma through our Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations! For an interactive and impactful experience, have your school book a presentation for Bell Let’s Talk Day and encourage others in your school community to take advantage of this opportunity. Our presenters provide valuable insights into mental wellness, share information on mental health literacy, and offer personal stories to reduce stigma. This initiative helps students gain a better understanding of mental health, fostering an atmosphere of empathy and support. Presentations are available at no- cost or by donation.
7. Get Involved with a Mental Health Organization
Learn about the organizations in your local community and find out how you can support them, whether it’s attending events, donating to their cause, or volunteering. We invite you to learn more about Stigma-Free Society and check out this list of organizations who have partnered with Bell Let’s Talk.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is a reminder that we have the power to create change and make a difference in the lives of people who are facing mental health challenges. By actively participating in this event and making use of no-cost educational resources, we can collectively work towards a society that values mental health, breaks down stigma, and fosters a culture of understanding and support. Let’s talk, let’s listen, and let’s make a difference.
By: Monique Zizzo