As we enter our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all struggling. From the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its variants, to ever-changing restrictions and guidelines, remote work and schooling, the on-going disruptions to daily life and daily routines, to attempting any kind of work-life balance amidst it all, can all take its toll. And it’s normal for these struggles – for the daily uncertainty we feel – to have a big impact on our mental health and well-being. With all these additional pressures, it’s important we continue to protect our mental health and why it’s vital to normalize that, especially during the pandemic, it’s ok to not be ok.
In any normal year, one in every five Canadians is affected by a mental health issue or illness. But the last two years have been anything but normal. Every one of us has likely felt the stress, anxiety, fear, and loss brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic – and every one of us likely knows someone dealing with a mental health issue: our neighbour, our colleague, our friend, our loved one, even ourselves.
This is one of the many reasons that campaigns like Bell’s Let’s Talk Day, taking place on January 26th, are so important. For more than a decade, this campaign has been helping normalize mental health issues and promote better awareness and understanding – simply through conversation. As in past years, on Bell Let’s Talk Day Bell will donate 5¢ to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk; every Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video; and every use of the Bell Let's Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat lens. This can really add up.
Since the pandemic continues to affect every aspect of our lives, it’s important we support ourselves and each other. Here are some tips on how you can help yourself, your friends, and your loved ones cope with stress and look after their mental health:
And here are five simple ways to start a conversation with someone you think may need help:
We are all in this together, so let’s join in the conversation today – and every day throughout the year – and do our part to support one another and help bring more awareness to such a prevalent health issue.
OpenMindBC.ca – developed by Doctors of BC, this website acts as a portal to an abundance of tools and resources developed by a range of mental health organizations in BC and across Canada.
Reaching Out: Supporting Youth Mental Health in British Columbia – this policy paper contains a number of commitments and recommendations which support Doctors of BC’s policy of raising awareness of mental illness in the province.
The Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Toolbox – A legacy of the CYMHSU Collaborative, this ‘one-stop-shop’ of tools and resources helps improve access and care for children, youth and families facing challenges with mental health and substance use in BC.
Bell Let’s Talk Get Help Resource Page – here you will find a list of organizations with helpful resources for children and youth, adults, seniors, families and caregivers, and culturally specific resources.