#BellLetsTalk day is more important than ever as Canadians focus on mental health. Learn how you can support yourself, family, and friends during these difficult times.
The #BellLetsTalk initiative is a campaign to raise money to support mental health initiatives in Canada. Bell Canada will give a bonus of $0.05 for every SMS message, TikTok video, and tweet that links back to the #BellLetsTalk campaign.
They will also donate for watching social media videos on Facebook and Snapchat.
You can help create positive change in the world by showing your support and showing it in many ways.
Bell will donate a further five dollars towards mental health initiatives every time you watch our official Bell Let’s Talk Day video.
Help Bell raise awareness!
COVID-19 is having an impact on every aspect of Canadians’ lives this year, with the impact of the pandemic affecting their mental health as well. It is vital that every action we take this year is focused on mental health.
We can support mental health and strengthen our communities during this difficult time by taking small steps from recognizing stressors to being there for our loved ones. We have provided some valuable tips and information below compiled by the Canadian Psychological Association about how you can cope with stress and take care of your mental wellbeing as well as your friends and family members.
The signs of stress and how to recognize them
There will be different effects of stressors associated with a pandemic on different people. The effects of the stress can be felt psychologically (for example, worrying), as well as physically (for example, not getting enough sleep). Stressors that are out of our control are particularly difficult to cope with, particularly if they are not controlled by us. In the case of an infectious disease outbreak, stress can be caused by the following factors:
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Taking good care of oneself
In order to cope with stress effectively, it is important for you to take care of yourself. The following are a few simple steps that will help you to do just that:
Keep your body healthy by eating right and exercising regularly. Breathe deeply, stretch your muscles, and meditate regularly. Take good care of yourself by eating healthy, well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
- Having a conversation with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling will ensure that those who are close to you, especially those who are children, will be able to share their concerns and accept support.
- It is important to keep as normal a routine as possible, which includes engaging in activities that you enjoy.
- Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, focus on what you can control and not what you cannot. In addition to coming up with a new hobby, talking to a friend, or going for a brisk walk, you have no control over when a new vaccine becomes available or when things will return to normal.
Taking care of other people is becoming increasingly important
More people are likely to experience stress, anxiety, and depression as a result of COVID-19, than to have serious physical ailments as a result of the virus. Here are some people that respond to stress and crisis more strongly than others.
- A person who is older or with chronic disease is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19
- Especially if they are young children or teenagers
- Those who work on the frontline
- A person diagnosed with mental health conditions, including those suffering from substance abuse problems, a person who tends to worry – particularly about their health, or a person who has experienced a traumatic event in the past or recently
- Those individuals who have a tendency to worry – especially about their health, or those who have been through a traumatic experience in the past or recently
- People who live alone or without a lot of social support
Stress caused by the pandemic may have a more profound impact on children and teens than it does on adults. You can support your child or teen during this difficult time by following some of the suggestions below:
- Give information without overdoing it, or you will end up causing more distress. Verify that children understand what they are being told and that they have the correct information.
- Be sure to let them know that it is okay if they feel upset or scared and that you can help them cope with their feelings by talking to them.
- Be sure you limit the exposure of your family to the news and social media coverage of this event.
- Whenever possible, try to stick to regular routines as much as possible. As a result of the closure of schools, plan learning activities as well as relaxing or fun activities to engage in; if scheduled activities are cancelled, try to engage in the activities (or an adaptation of the activities) at home.
Help is available if you or someone you care about is struggling. There are many organizations that are offering mental health support for Canadians, including Wellness Together Canada, CMHA, and Kids Help Phone, all of which are free or low-cost.
Several signs and symptoms are described by the Canadian Psychological Association that may indicate the presence of a psychological disorder or problem that might warrant the assistance of a professional.
- A lack of sleep, too much sleep, or just not enough sleep
- Do you experience anxiety, depression or panic attacks?
- The feeling of being angry, guilty, helpless, numb, or confused
- The thought of getting out of bed did not appeal to me
- Do you find it difficult to concentrate on anything?
- Overeating is an unhealthy habit
- Increasing the amount of alcohol you drink or the amount of prescription drugs you take
- Being impatient is not something that I have much patience for
To help end stigma, here are five simple things you can do
There must be an end to the stigma associated with mental illness in order for us to make positive changes and to help people needing help to receive it. It is one of the biggest obstacles to overcoming the stigma associated with mental illness that being able to ask for help and to overcome the feeling that one is alone is one of the biggest obstacles. It is estimated that two-thirds of those with mental illnesses don’t seek help for this reason, which we think is a major factor.
In this article, you will find five simple ways you can help end the stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents too many people who are struggling from seeking help. In collaboration with Dr. Heather Stuart, the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen’s University, the following tips have been developed:
- Educate yourself; it can be a great way to help end the stigma attached to mental illness if you know the facts and myths that surround it.
- In order to help open up the conversation, there are simple acts of kindness that you can do to let the other person know that you are there for them.
- Ask how you can help: the first step in recovery is to be a good listener and to inquire about what you can do to help.
- We all are affected by mental illness in some way, whether it’s directly or indirectly through friends, colleagues or family members.
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