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#haveTHATtalk about Mental Health

Posted Tuesday February 13, 2018

Posted By: Christine Taylor

Category: General

We talk about lots of things during our day like the weather or last night’s game.  We also like to share good news with those we care about and trust.  So, why do many of us find it hard to tell someone if we are not doing so well?  Stigma, fear and not knowing who to talk to can stop us from reaching out.

Did you know that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or mental illness at some point in their life? Or that 42% of Canadians were not sure if they would socialize with a friend who has a mental illness?  This could affect you or someone you care about.

Sharing how you are doing with the people, you love and trust can help you find the support you need. We know from research that the sooner someone gets help, the better the outcome will be. This is true for all health conditions, including mental illnesses. 

Sometimes people may not respond the way you want them to. In some communities and families, mental health is not discussed.  Social media can also be a risky place to talk about your struggles. Make sure you are in a good place and ready before you share or post anything online. If you need help and do not know where to go, call a distress line as there are always professionals who can help you. 

If someone shares their challenges with you, it’s important to remember that you do not need to have all the answers or be ready with the perfect solution.  In fact, it’s best to listen, be supportive and encourage them to get help.  If you are concerned about their safety or your safety, call 911 or your local distress line. 

So let’s take action to reduce stigma, increase support, encourage people to get help sooner and have THAT talk. Think about some things you can do that would make you feel more comfortable to start talking about your own mental health, or things you can do if someone shares their mental health challenges with you. It could be one of the most important conversations.

For more information, resources or ideas to get the conversations started, visit the have THAT talk website or check out the videos on how to talk about your mental health, reducing stigma, building resilience, caring for yourself, the caregiver and building social connections.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, check out a list of Mental Health and Addiction Services in Ottawa or e-Mental Health.

Let’s make some time to #haveTHATtalk! 

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