Here’s some inspiration to help get you started
January 30 marks Bell Let’s Talk Day, striking new conversations about mental illness and the importance of mental health for Canadians. This campaign aims to reduce stigmas surrounding mental health, provide better care and access towards those in need, improve research and understanding about mental illness, and encourage greater engagement in the workforce. By opening the dialogues, we can begin making a change in how we talk about and view mental health and mental illness.
Mental health affects many people, just ask some of our ChangeLeaders® from The Power of YOUth including Gabby Frost, Jacob Thomas and Molly Burke. These young leaders have all made a significant shift in the way we can view mental health.
Knowledge is power
Education is a powerful tool, in the case of Gabby Frost from Wales—she became aware through social media that many young people were suffering from mental health issues.“I was completely aware these issues existed, but I had no idea that my peers were going through such dark times.” -Gabby Frost #BellLetsTalk Click To Tweet
Realizing this problem inspired Gabby to create an online community open for anyone who wants to be a friend to someone else. The Buddy Project aims to prevent suicide, self-harm and eating disorders by pairing youth with another peer based on age and interests. In the first day alone, over 3,000 people signed up to be matched with a buddy. With this platform, Gabby is helping to reduce stigmas and promote awareness through conversation, which is the first step towards understanding mental health.
Jacob Thomas knows first hand the difficulties of not having a conversation around mental health. After losing a friend to suicide, Jacob’s mental health struggled as a result. During recovery, Jacob was able to empower others by coordinating a filming project, It Gets Better. The film showcases Monash University alumni, students and staff sharing their experiences with mental illness and recovery—and it is still being used to date at his university. As a ChangeLeader®, Jacob is empowering others across Australia to stand up for those dealing with mental illness and speak out about the importance of mental health.
Embrace who you are
Molly Burke started losing her vision at the age of 4; by 14, she was blind. Losing her sight at a younger age than expected, Molly went from a bubbly, well-liked eighth-grader to being bullied and dealing with severe depression. On her own journey to recovery, this Canadian ChangeLeader® has since become a role model for others that she didn’t have it when she needed it the most. Molly now travels the world as a motivational speaker, author, YouTuber and blog writer, truly speaking to the idea of embracing who you are.“I am not defined by my disability, the words of my bullies, or the mental illness I live with; I am defined by the person all of those things have helped me become.” -Molly Burke #BellLetsTalk Click To Tweet
Self-care is self-love
Self-care is the biggest form of self-love a person can give to themselves. Self-care is taking a hot bath, talking on the phone with a loved one, having a brisk walk in the fresh air. Self-care is all about taking a break for yourself when you need it.
As ChangeLeaders®, it’s important to remember you can only do your best for others if you’ve first taken care of yourself. Self-care is self-love because you are cherishing yourself enough to acknowledge that life has a lot of ups and downs—taking time for you ensures that you are ready to pursue your passions and tackle any challenges that come your way.