This is my post from Bell Lets Talk Day 2013. I thought & thought about writing a new blog post, but I don’t think I could say it any better than I did last year. I updated the information in the post.
Today Bell Canada is starting the conversation. For every: Text message sent on the Bell network Long Distance call made on the Bell network, Tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image; Bell will donate 5¢ more to help fund mental health initiatives across Canada. They’re giving grants to community associations, funding research, but most importantly; making it ok for people to talk about it. I absolutely love their spokesperson, Clara Hughes. A Summer & Winter Olympian with boat-loads of medals, everyone thought she had a perfect life! She’s a young, vibrant, woman who shares her experience without hesitation.
Some of you know my story, if you’ve read previous blog posts. I suffered from terrible postpartum depression. It was bad, I didn’t know what was happening to me. There were so many other circumstances swirling around at the same time, I just thought this was how it was going to be in my new reality. I told no one, it was hard for me to say it out loud. I couldn’t even say it to Jeff, of course he knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what to do. It took me (& mostly my husband) until after our second child to get me help. Jeff found someone we both trusted, our health nurse, and told her what was going on. She helped us get help & I’m happy to say that things have been much better ever since.
I’ve changed medications since that time 10 years ago, but my life has never been better. This morning I was sitting on the side of the very bed that I wouldn’t leave for days on end. I remember my baby (who is now 14!) & I spending the day there, me barely getting by personally because it took all I had to feed her, change her & stay awake while she was awake. Jeff getting home from a long day at University & finding us in the same spot where he’d left us 14 hours before. It was a dark time. Luckily for me, I found medication that worked & even better an activity that pulled me out of it. I’ve written before about how silversmithing pulled me into the light where I found something that was for me, and was creative, and wasn’t about my kids.
The only thing that ever really enters my mind about mental illness lately is my kids. I worry that I’ve genetically gifted them something I hope they never have to deal with. I watch them closely & speak to their pediatrician about what to do if we feel they’re out of ‘balance’.
So if you’re a Bell customer, text, call, do whatever you can to help. The rest of you – Tweet it, Facebook it; because I guarantee you there is someone in your life that you might not even know it, but they’re suffering.
Have a quick read over some of the facts:
- Every day, 500,000 Canadians miss work due to a form of mental illness.
- Mood and anxiety disorders impact an estimated 22% of the Canadian population. –CMHA
- Less than 4% of medical research funding goes to mental illness research. –Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health
- Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities. – CMHA
- 2 in 3 people suffer in silence fearing judgment and rejection. – Canadian Medical Association
Do what you can, even if that is only watching a news story on TV, really listening to a radio commercial; you just might learn something or at the very least become a little more understanding.
As of 10 am Mountain time – 26,195,293 communication actions!