So Wednesday January 31st 2018 was Bell’s ‘Let’s Talk’ day, a day surrounding the promotion of mental health communication and awareness. I wanted to see how the day went with this campaign and it turned out quite successful, you can read more about it here: Bell Let’s Talk. 

But I didn’t need to wait for those results because really, I know, I know through lived experience, listening to others and even currently through a mental health in the workplace online program I am taking. I know that communication, or talking, is the key to success. It is a huge first step that can lead to and create a ripple effect to other steps being taken.

Fear and shame and keeping things hidden is a pretty big issue when it comes to mental health, so promoting the idea of open communication and sharing is a positive result all on its own. Standing up to fight for the elimination of stigma and combatting isolation and loneness are immeasurable, they are priceless.

High numbers are always great to see and the amount of donations made to various service organizations are wonderful to hear about, but the real effect that is generated through individuals and feelings is what matters most.

The day was successful, yes. But the way I see it, as long as it is about the promotion of open dialogue without judgement, it always will be. Every year it should be a day to simply remind folks, that it is okay to talk, to help one another, to feel safe. The discussions can and should continue. This sort of communication is always a good place to start… so let’s keep it going.

By Mark Koning

Mark is the Communications & Administration Coordinator with the AIDS Committee of York Region. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto)