Bell Let’s Talk Day 2020 – every action counts

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Mental health-every action counts

Bell Let’s Talk Day is here.

Join Fanshawe College on January 29, 2020 in support of raising awareness of mental health in youth and reaching out to help those who may be struggling.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness includes a broad range of psychological or behavioural symptoms that cause a person to experience severe distress and inhibits the ability for daily functions.  Mental illness is a treatable condition and can be overcome through a variety of recovery options.  To learn more, visit the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) site for types of treatment.

Did you know? Mental illness statistics in Canada

  • The percentage of Canadians aged 15 to 24 who report a mental illness or substance abuse problem is 18 per cent (source: Mood Disorders Society of Canada).
  • Suicide accounts for 24 per cent (and is the leading cause) of deaths for Canadians aged 15 – 24 (source: CMHA).
  • An estimated 4,000 people die from suicide every year (source: CMHA).
  • The percentage of people who have a mental illness and do not receive proper medical care is 50 per cent (source: CMHA).

Yesterday we shared five ways you can support a friend or family member with a mental illness. Here are five more ways you can help:

mental health support

Part two: five ways that you can support a friend or family member with a mental illness

Submitted by Shirley Porter, Counsellor



  1. Let your loved one know that you see how much energy it is taking for them to deal with their illness, but that you also see their strength and courage. They might deny feeling strong. It’s okay to remind them that the strongest people are usually those who are most exhausted.
  1. If you suspect your loved one is thinking of suicide, ask them straight out. It lets them know this is something they can talk to you about. If they tell you they have a suicide plan and intend to act on that plan, get them to a hospital or call 911. If they are having thoughts of suicide, but don’t have a plan or intention to act, this is a sign that they have run out of coping options and are viewing death as a possible escape. It is important to try to encourage them to speak to their doctor and/or a counsellor. 
  1. If your friend or family member is reluctant to talk to a doctor or counsellor, offer to go with them for their first appointment, even if it’s only to wait for them in the waiting room.
  1. For most mental illnesses, effective evidence-based treatments typically include medication and/or counselling support.  Support your loved one in whatever treatments they are open to trying. 
  1. If you are feeling overwhelmed with worry or the effort it takes to support your loved one who has mental illness, it might be beneficial to you to talk to a counsellor.  It’s okay for you to need support too. 

Where can you go to find help?

Fanshawe College offers a variety of programs and services to offer aid on the path to recovery:

If you or someone you know might is suffering from mental illness, visit Bell Let’s Talk and join the conversation today. Every action counts and together, we can help others overcome the barrier of mental illness and promote health and wellness for everyone.

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