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Editorial: Let's talk about mental health

Nanaimo News Bulletin - 2/1/2018

It seems like maybe the conversation is getting a little bit louder.

Today is Bell Let's Talk Day, which has become an important occasion each year because it really has gotten Canadians talking about mental health.

Whereas the conversations are still whispered, muted and private most of the time, the louder discussion that happens on and around Bell Let's Talk Day is important. So many people, from so many walks of life, are talking about something that affects them or those they care about.

RELATED: A day to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health

The conversations that are happening today are so helpful. The more we feel comfortable talking about our mental health, the more deeply we can delve into it and think about how we're feeling and talk about how we're feeling. As we learn to become more aware about our moods and our mental health, we'll be in a better place to manage self-care or to seek out care, and in a better position to understand others.

In 2018 it's OK to talk about our feelings if we like. The ways we communicate are ever-changing, and sometimes they aren't as personal, but on the other hand, there are more avenues for communication than ever before and more people willing to listen and lend support – more than we might think.

For those of us who don't feel like we can help, or wouldn't know what to do, that's OK, as there are resources like the Canadian Mental Health Association's Mid-Island Branch, Kids' Help Phone, the Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

We've heard that there are right and wrong things to say, and 'take care' or 'hugs' or emoticons might not seem like much, but maybe we can use that as a starting point and then see where we can take the conversation from there.

 
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