For the past 6 years, Bell Canada has raised awareness to a traditionally sensitive issue known as Mental Health. Their annual campaign called “Bell Let’s Talk” Day is a movement to encourage families, friends, colleagues and community to listen and be supportive of one another. Bell states, “It’s a fact, one in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime”.
How to Participate
On January 25th, 2017, Bell Canada will donate $.05 for every text or call made on this day. In addition, $.05 will be donated for tweets, posts, and views made on the following social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Be sure to use the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.
In 2016, Bell reported that 597 360 644 interactions were made resulting in over $6 million being donated to Mental Health initiatives. Year over year, there has been significant growth in this campaign and to help increase awareness.
Recognize and Lend an Ear
Throughout the rest of the year, be supportive to those around you that may be suffering in silence. CAMH (The Canadian Mental Health Association), a national organization that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians, notes that there are many forms of mental illness. Anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, anger and grieving are all forms that someone may be suffering from.
There are many local support groups available with trained supporters and staff to help those in need. Friends and family members are an important resource by lending an ear and offering emotional support. CAMH does note that, “…it is important to respect your loved one’s wishes…forcing someone to choose a particular treatment or service provider can damage relationships and things harder.”
Mental Health in the Workplace
In this day and age, many more organizations are recognizing and accepting the fact that mental health can affect employees. KASE Insurance is a Liberty Village based commercial insurance specialty firm who advises startups and established businesses on insurance and risk management solutions. Over the past year, Stanislav Kojokin – partner at KASE Insurance, confirms that there has been a higher increase of awareness from insurance companies to enhance group benefit plans by extending coverage to include mental health tools and coverage. Not every benefits plan is created equally and it would be in an employer’s best interest to discuss how their insurance company is addressing this specific issue.
Evidence of this increased awareness is evident from the report by Global News on January 11th, 2017. Manulife re-evaluated their benefit plan for its employees to include mental health coverage up to $10000 per year. Traditionally, many health benefit plans covered limited sessions or had a low dollar value included in their packages.
This Wednesday and every day after, let’s all take a bigger role in supporting one another with mental health.