On January 31, let's talk about mental health

Jan 25, 2018 | News

Imagine if you broke your leg, and your friends, family and coworkers believed you were only looking for attention when it affected your ability to walk? Imagine if everyone around you treated you as if you had a character flaw, rather than an injury? How likely would you be to seek help?

The Mental Health Commission of Canada estimates that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year, and that by the age of 40, about 50 per cent of the population will have or have had a mental illness. At PHC, a 2014 survey indicated that 30-40 per cent of our Occupational Health & Safety interactions with staff and about 30 per cent of our Long Term Disability (LTD) open claims are related to mental health. But the stigma associated with mental illness prevents many people from talking about it. Within the workplace, just 1 in 3 Canadians would be likely to have a conversation with their manager about their mental health.

Bell Let’s Talk identifies five simple ways to end stigma and start the conversation:

  1. Language matters: think about the words you use when discussing mental health.
  2. Educate yourself: learn about mental health and mental wellness.
  3. Be kind: open up the conversation and let someone know you are there for them.
  4. Listen and ask: being there for people you care about can be the first step in recovery.
  5. Talk about it: break the silence to help end the stigma of mental illness.

The Staff Mental Health and Mental Wellness toolkit provides many mental health resources for staff, including what to do when you are concerned about a friend or colleague.

Visit letstalk.bell.ca to learn more, and on January 31, don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

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