January 26th…..” Bell Lets Talk” day.
Where do we even start?
There is so much stigma around mental health. And there shouldn’t be. I’ve heard people call out others as :
” drama queen”,
” nut job”,
… the list goes on.
I’ve seen people roll their eyes, or whisper about others who struggle. But then when someone actually dies from their mental health, I’ve heard the remorse emphasized with disbelief and shock. ” Why didn’t they reach out?”. ” why didn’t they get help?”
Our society isn’t just breaking: it’s broken.
Far too often we don’t see the red flags or read the signs even when they are glaring at us: until it’s too late.
Psychologists, therapists, social workers all come with a hefty price tag that many just can not afford. And even if they could; there are waiting lists that are weeks, months, and sometimes a year or more.
It’s a small wonder that we have a mental health crisis on our hands. An average of 10 people per day in this country die by suicide. It’s the 9th leading cause of death in Canada. For every death by suicide, at least 7-10 survivors are impacted by their loss. And those survivors, are now at an increase risk of suicide themselves.
I belong to a suicide survivors bereavement group, and the number of members increase dramatically each week. I’ve talked to parents of children as young as 8 or 9, who have taken their own lives.
Read that again.
Children as young as 8…..or 9.
😞 what are we doing wrong?
We need to talk about it. And we need to let everyone know that it’s OK to need help. And that there is no more shame in mental illness than there is in heart disease, cancer, diabetes or any other health issue.
We need to judge less, and care more. We need to tell our government that more money needs to be spent on psychiatric treatment, psychiatric wards, and rehab.
We need to care for one another.
It’s ” Bell Lets Talk Day”. So let’s just not STOP talking about it. Better yet: let’s stop JUST talking about it.
Let’s do something about it.