It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since the first Bell Let’s Talk Day. To a day dedicated to breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health, we say: let’s talk about it.

On Wednesday January 29th, Canadians are invited to join the conversation to stop the stigma around mental health. People around the globe are encouraged to get involved in this day that provides funding for access, care and research by getting people talking.

The theme this year is Mental Health: Every Action Counts. Everyone is encouraged to share their stories and ideas about creating a positive change and taking a step forward in the world’s struggle to overcome this stigma.

How can I participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day?

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In 2019, 86% of Canadians reported that they were more aware of mental health issues since Bell Let’s Talk began. Over the past 10 years, the small actions of people across North America and around the word has made a big impact. There have been over one billion interactions and $100 million dollars committed to mental health initiatives to date. With your help, we hope to keep that number climbing.

With your support, on January 29th, Bell will donate 5 cents for every:

  • Text message sent by Bell customers 📱
    • iPhone users: make sure to turn off your iMessage for the day 🙏
  • Mobile and long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers 📞
  • Tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk 🐦
  • Use of the #BellLetsTalk photo frame on Facebook 🤳
  • Use of the #BellLetsTalk filter on Snapchat 👻
  • View of the #BellLetsTalk video posted by Bell Canada on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Snapchat 🎥

On a day dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental health, ensure you are being mindful of your actions and you take the time to help not only the people in your life struggling with their mental health but also yourself.

Let’s get out there and keep the conversation going because no one should suffer in silence.

What is the impact of Bell Let’s Talk Day?

One in five Canadians – regardless of their age, gender, or social standing – is affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. This day hits close to home for many of us, including Team Canada athletes.

Olympians like Clara Hughes and Stephanie Labbé have spoken out about their struggle with mental health both during their active years and into retirement.

Hughes is a national spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk Day and works to share her story to show that anyone, even an Olympian, can be affected by mental health. In 2014, she set out on a cross-country bike ride, Clara’s Big Ride, to “help grow awareness, acceptance, and action to create a stigma-free Canada.” She biked over 11,000 km in 110 days, and made 95 community stops along the way, reaching every province and territory. Since this ride, Hughes has continued to be an advocate for mental health and the #BellLetsTalk campaign.

Goalkeeper Labbé spoke out this past year about her struggles of being an Olympian and the power of resilience. In the years following her bronze medal at Rio 2016, Labbé struggled with depression and coming to terms with the impact this success had on her life. It took the realization about the importance of breaking the silence and talking about her struggle for Labbé to finally understand her “purpose in life”. By talking and being real she hopes to show that “everybody takes different journeys, unique pathways to being who they are”.

There are five simple ways everyone can work to help end the stigma that keeps countless people who struggle with mental health silent.

1. You can educate yourself with the facts and myths about mental illness.

2. You can be kind to individuals helping to open up the conversation and letting them know you are there for them.

3. You can listen and ask. Being a good listener and asking how you can help can be the first step in recovery for someone struggling with their mental health.

4. You can understand that language matters. The words you use can make a world of difference.

5. Finally, you can talk about it.