Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an initiative that makes me proud to work for Bell/CTV. It’s about openness, discussion, the truth and helping people overcome stigmas and mental illnesses. This only works if we stop saying things like “she must be off her meds” or “he’s crazy”. Lead with compassion and empathy. Heal with kindness. Have an uncomfortable conversation with the goal of helping someone find comfort. Allow tears. Listen.
Today on our morning show, Ken and I are going to hear the story of a fellow journalist’s two-year battle with mental illness. It came out of the blue and rocked his world. Now that he’s climbing out of the dark pit of despair and confusion, he wants to help others who may be starting their journey. He’ll join us in studio from 6:30-7. (Read his blog post HERE.)
The Ontario Mental Health Helpline is 1-866-531-2600. Although a suicide prevention phone number regularly makes the rounds on social media, it is for US citizens. Canada doesn’t have a national number yet. Call 911 if someone’s going to harm themselves or someone else.
Kids Help Phone offers immediate counselling for those 20 and under who are in crisis. It’s private and non-judgmental. 1-800-668-6868.
In London, the CAMH Mental Health Crisis Centre is open 24/7 at 648 Huron St. and a support team is available there for walk-ins from 9-9 daily.
The Abused Women’s Helpline (24-hour): 519 -642-3000
Reach Out Crisis and Support Line (24-hour): 519-422-2023.
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line (24-hour): 1-855-242-3310
For less urgent mental health concerns, talk to a physician, call your local CAMH or access a therapist through your employer’s EAP, if you have one. There’s no need to suffer. Help is out there, everywhere.