January is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mark Wednesday January 25 2023 0n your calendar.

Canada’s Bell LEt’s Talk falls on this day. This day concerning Mental Health began in 2010, in the hopes that the stigma around mental health will one day be no more. The strategy is built upon 4 different pillars including the fight to end the stigma, having improvement to mental health care, supporting world class research and having a good example in the workplace about mental health.

Mental health affects everyone, if you are dealing with a mental health issue then likely the people around you are seeing and feeling the effects on you as well. 

Bell’s Let’s Talk is to encourage two or more people to get together on the phone, by zoom, skype, and in person to discuss what is going on with their mental health. Good mental health is essential to our well being, the people that suffer with mental health issues are often not recognized, or understood. Some are even ostracized from their families, friends, and or communities. Bell Canada Let’s Talk day is a reminder that people living with mental health issues deserve to be able to fit into society with the same care, understanding and compassion, as everyone else. 

Mental health issues have been on the rise by about 20% since COVID, the rise happened partly due to having to isolate for a very long time. No one could see their friends and family. Social media grew. Families units got smaller, and even though we can socialize again there’s a lot less community involvement, a lot of people still don’t want to go out as often as they used to.

There are various signs that you could be suffering a mental health issue, there may be changes in your demeanor. You lose interest in things that you enjoyed before. There could be changes in your sleep. Your energy could be lower. You may have trouble interacting with people. There could be changes in your appetite or a weight change. Your emotions could be out of whack and you have a hard time controlling them. If you are experiencing any of these, don’t be afraid to talk to someone including your doctor. They may prescribe some medications that could help you and may even be able to let you know of some places or people that you could talk to without feeling misunderstood.

Having good mental health could look like this: when meeting new people or in a new situation you feel confident. You may be optimistic about things around you. You are not always blaming yourself. You set goals and keep as many as possible. Feeling good about yourself comes naturally. Your self esteem is good.

Wearing a green ribbon on Bell Let’s Talk Day is a symbol that is recognized internationally that you care about mental health, you can even wear one in the memory of a loved one that was lost to mental health issues.

A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Colleen or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.