By now, you have probably seen the Bell Let’s Talk billboards and commercials featuring Clara Hughes, Serena Ryder, Howie Mandel, Mary Walsh and Michael Landsberg. The group of spokes peoples are sharing with us their battle with mental illness to prove that mental illness does not discriminate. It does not matter if you are an Olympian, musician, comedienne, actress or sports broadcaster. In fact, one in five Canadians will experience a form of mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness makes an impact on many lives — directly, or indirectly through a friend, family member or colleague.
The goal of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign is to help break the silence and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. I personally know how much stigma can hurt because I have a mental illness story.
I had never been depressed in my life. Yet I was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features. In 14 months, I went from down to dark. I lost over 30 pounds, was sleep deprived and could not get out of bed. Fortunately, I received the help I needed, was hospitalized and started my road to recovery. I am in full recovery, drug free and back to a career that I love. Now I proudly talk about my own journey, “From Hell to Well” to smash stigma and offer hope to others.
It’s your turn to join the dialogue through Bell Let’s Talk national campaign. On January 27, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives for every:
• Text message sent
• Mobile & long distance call made
• Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
• Share of the Facebook image
Since 2010, Bell has committed $100 million to mental health initiatives in Canada to help people like myself, who have gone from mental illness to mental wellness. Let’s all start talking to help change attitudes around mental illness, eliminate stigma and help even more people. Please talk, text, tweet or Facebook using #BellLetsTalk.