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Let's Talk - Mental Illness

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Today is Bell Let's Talk day.

[url]http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/[/url]

Please do your part and reach out to someone you know if you suspect they may be going through this challenge. Even a few years ago I personally never thought a day like this would have much meaning for me; now I realize that it does.

Bell will donate $0.05 to mental health initiatives for every:

[LIST][*]Text message sent by a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only. Regular long distance and text message charges apply.[*]Mobile and long distance call made by a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only. Regular long distance and text message charges apply.[*]Tweet using #BellLetsTalk[*]Facebook share of our Bell Letís Talk image[/LIST]

[b]If you're on Twitter, you can tweet this message:[/b]
[quote] Today is Bell Let's Talk Day. For every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, we'll donate 5Ę more to #MentalHealth initiatives: ow.ly/t0e3k [/quote]

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[SIZE=5][B]Mental illness is one of the most widespread health issues in Canada. Talking is the first step towards meaningful change and building greater awareness, acceptance, and action.[/B][/SIZE]

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[i]- Only 49% of Canadians said they would socialize with a friend who has a serious mental illness.
- 27% of Canadians are fearful of being around people who suffer from serious mental illness.[/i]
Canadian Medical Association

[i]- 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life.[/i]
Canadian Institute of Health Research

[i]- Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
- Mood and anxiety disorders impact an estimated 22% of the Canadian population.[/i]
CMHA

[i]- Every day, 500,000 Canadians miss work due to a form of mental illness.
- Mental health problems and illnesses also account for more than $6 billion in lost productivity costs due to absenteeism and presenteeism.
- Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year-olds and 16% among 25-44 year-olds.
- At this very moment, some 3 million Canadians are suffering from depression (I am one of them).[/i]
Mental Health Commission of Canada

[i]- Two-thirds of homeless people using urban shelters suffer from some form of mental illness.[/i]
Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health

[i]- Adults with severe mental health problems and illnesses die up to 25 years earlier than adults in the general population.[/i]
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

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If someone breaks their arm, or a leg it is easy for others to understand their injury; we can see it with our own eyes. Depression is much harder to understand; there are no easily apparent and recognizeable outward indications - no cast to wear, no limp, no crutches to hobble on for a few weeks.

I never personally understood depression until it entered my life. It is something I have been struggling with now for probably 2+ years, only having realized it within the last couple of months.

Depression affects my whole life; interpersonal relationships with friends, family and spouse; engagement and performance at work (even if you think you're "holding it all together" others notice you're "off").

For me, depression has a multitude of descriptors I can use; a feeling of not being my self; feeling detached from what is going on around me; the old "lights are on but nobody's home" feeling; lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities; withdrawl from friends and family; poor sleep patterns; lacking joy and enjoyment in day-to-day activities; a sense of exhaustion that is pervasive and that gets in the way of me actively participating in life; coming home and just wanting to curl up in bed and sleep until the next morning. I could go on, unfortunately.

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If you're reading this and are thinking "that sounds a lot like me lately"; get help.

If you're reading this and realize that someone in your life hasn't been themselves lately, consider lending an ear to providing an outlet for that person to have someone to talk to. You may be that person's lifeline.

There are a lot of links at [url]http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/get-help/[/url] - where to go for help.

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