Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day! The point of this annual mental health day is to mark the importance of discussing these issues and bringing them into the light. It’s all about transformation of energy from shame, blame, fault, and hiding, into courage, support, acceptance, and compassion. The energy needed for this transformation is significant; it can take a lot to open up. But we can do it together, by having conversations about our own stories, and listening to others who share their stories.
This year, for Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 29, 2020, I’m sharing this conversation I had with psychiatrist Dr. Laurie Goldman, all about stories, struggles, stigma, and turning points. I share my personal story of suffering from multiple mental health conditions because I want others to know you’re not alone!
An important change to make when we talk about mental health is to ask someone who is suffering, “What is your life story? What’s brought you here?”, not “What’s wrong with you?”. Trauma, stress, worry, insecurity, fear, and even seemingly small worrisome events in a person’s life can have an impact on the mind, body, and spirit, all accumulating to the point where it comes out as a symptom. This symptom can be physical or mental-emotional, but they are both equally valid, both equally important to give space to and to listen to.
If someone breaks their arm, no one blames the person for having weak bones. Mental health is the exact same. There is no shame, no blame for someone who is suffering. Just like an arm that breaks when it is stressed too hard, a person’s psychology can react in ways that cause mental health issues, as a response to major stressors.
We go on to talk about the complex puzzle of how to figure out what is causing your mental health condition. I love diving in to the deeper pieces of the puzzle and helping people recreate their lives without the mental suffering, but the point I want to emphasize here again is the importance of open discussion for people with mental health concerns. And for their families, loved ones, colleagues, and more. We all need to know that there is nothing wrong with a person who is struggling, and they deserve support, and most of all, love.
I’m honoured to share this talk with anyone who is struggling, or looking to support someone who is struggling. Reach out and embrace your community because we are all stronger when we talk about it together.
See the talk here at: