January 31st marked the annual #BellLetsTalk day, a movement to advocate for mental health awareness and to communicate the concept of inclusion towards those impacted by mental illness of any type.
The hashtag #BellLetsTalk was used throughout the day on January 31st over 133 million times in Canada, breaking all pre-existing records regarding interactions with the hashtag. For me, personally, this signifies a joint effort towards acknowledging the implications affiliated with mental illness, and perhaps even open the door even wider surrounding the discussion of the topic. #BellLetsTalk day is an impactful movement to aid in demolishing the stigma surrounding the topic of mental illness, and quite honestly, it gives me tremendous hope for future generations.
Mental illness is such a prominent component of contemporary society, and it is time for it is perceived in a more serious context. Mental illness exists to the same extent as physical or visible illness, and it should not be deemed as inferior simply because it is not always visible to the human eye.
I think it is worth mentioning that mental illness is something that should be diagnosed by a medical professional, and is further not a term to be used loosely or in a joking manner. So often I hear individuals refer to themselves as having OCD because they enjoy being tidy, or being Anorexic because they have not eaten for several hours. If you think you may be suffering from a form of mental illness, I urge you to seek professional medical help, but please do not self-diagnose are potentially be ignorant of what certain types of mental illness consist of.
Canada proved that unity is powerful in the context of mental illness, and I look forward to seeing the statistics for the #BellLetsTalk hashtag next year.
Please remember: you are not alone.