Dear Bell, Let’s Talk!
Thank you for creating a day, a platform, a community that’s focused around mental health; mental illness and advocating to end the stigma.
Thank you for allowing open and honest communication about the issues that affect so many of us.
Did you know 1 in 4 adults and 1 out of 5 children suffer from some kind of mental illness?…many in silence.
So, it’s time to be loud about It.
I am a proud anxiety warrior. But I don’t let it define me. I push myself past self doubt, I grow with the uncomfortable, but I know what my boundaries are. I’m learning that it’s ok to say no. It’s ok, not to be ok. It’s ok to take a breath and it’s ok to knock down the walls that someone or something else has placed with judgement around you.
Did you know that you can be genetically predisposed to mental illness? Did you know that you can develop a mental illness at any point in your life, especially after a profound life event? Did you know that mental illness is not your fault?
It’s my hope, my mission if you will, to be one of the voices that pushes for awareness, change, acceptance and advocacy for children’s mental health.
It is my hope that by teaching and supporting these youngest members of our society about mental illness and giving them tools, resources and the language to use to define their own thoughts and emotions that maybe…just maybe, we would see a decrease in mental health issues and harmful self medicating and suicides in teens and adults in the future.
I’ve been told so many times “you’re brave for talking about it, you’re brave for being open about your own anxiety.” Bravery, to me, doesn’t come with being open and honest about my own issues. Bravery doesn’t come when I’m trying to help others and be a voice for children who suffer. Bravery and courage, to me, does come each and every day when I leap out of my own comfort zone to grow and learn more about myself and not be afraid of the resistance and that comes with the stigma of mental illness. So, I don’t feel that bravery accurately defines speaking out about something that means so much to me, while fearing judgement and scrutiny. I feel that I’m courageous and the difference is nestled between between the lines of looking fear and resistance in the eyes, being kind and still pushing forward.
So be a friend. Be kind. Talk openly about mental health, so those who suffer in silence feel comfortable to (hopefully) open up and help us all end the stigma.
Along with the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, there’s another Canadian foundation that I’ve learned about, that means a lot to me and in the mental health realm. A Dollar A Day foundation is an organization that helps to provide funding for mental health organizations and initiatives across Canada. (Click here to learn more about A Dollar A day Foundation) So, if you’re inclined, every dollar counts and supports a great cause. Consider donating, because together we can all make a difference. Click here to donate now.
This is a face of mental illness-anxiety. This is also the face of a Mom, doing her utmost best to be part of the change for our next generation.