How to participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day 2022

There’s no doubt that the last two years have been extremely difficult for all of us.

We continue to tackle challenges head on, adapt to our ever-changing environment, and try to keep chugging along. But not every day is going to be straightforward and that’s okay.

Some days may be harder than others — parents teaching their kids at home while trying to do their jobs; daily tasks like grocery shopping may be filled with a little more anxiety and frustration; or even the inability to see friends or family for long periods of time because of new challenges.

Times have also been tough for our Team Canada athletes. While it’s been exciting to see many of them fulfill their dreams at Tokyo 2020 or recently receive their tickets to Beijing 2022, it’s almost impossible not to reflect on the fact that some things just don’t feel the same.

Those feelings are valid, but it’s equally important to know that no one is alone.

Talking to someone or just knowing you have support is so important, which is why Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 26 continues to help break the stigma surrounding mental health. The day serves as a reminder to not only check in with ourselves but to show us ways we can support loved ones through actions like listening, being there, and talking.

Reaching out can make the biggest difference for you or someone else.

How to participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day

Getting involved is easier than ever with Bell donating 5 cents to mental health initiatives for any of the following actions taken on these platforms:

  • Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk and every view of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video
  • Facebook: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame and every view of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video
  • Instagram: Every view of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat filter and every view of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video
  • YouTube: Every view of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video
  • TikTok: Every video upload using #BellLetsTalk and every view of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video (@bell_letstalk)
  • Text messages: Every message sent by a Bell wireless customer. For iPhone users, please turn off iMessage for the day!
  • Calls: Every call made by Bell, Bell MTS or Bell Aliant wireless and home phone customers.

Don’t forget that Bell Let’s Talk Day begins at 12:01 a.m. Newfoundland Time on Tuesday January 26. Which means, you can get a head start as early as 10:30 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. PT on January 25 and then keep going all day Wednesday!

The impact of Bell Let’s Talk Day

It was a record-setting year in 2021 with more than 159 million interactions, raising over $7.9 million from people across Canada. Bell hopes to top those numbers in 2022, to help support more people’s access to mental health resources.

While interactions may just be limited to a 24-hour window, the impacts of Bell Let’s Talk Day extend beyond that. Nearly 2.2 million children and youth use services that have benefited from money raised, while an additional 1.4 million staff and volunteers have had access to comprehensive training to help handle mental health situations.

READ: The ABCs of mindfulness
READ: 7 steps towards improving your mental health

Not only does the campaign support those who need someone to talk to, but it also helps to end the stigma around mental health. The day allows for conversation that seeking help and support is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of strength.

Since 2011, when Bell Let’s Talk Day first began, 82 per cent of Canadians believe their attitudes have changed when it comes to mental health — an encouraging sign as people across the country continue to learn and educate themselves about their own well-being and that of others.

How can I cope with stress and manage mental health amid a pandemic?

As we try to be as careful as we can during the COVID-19 pandemic, the stresses of being cautious can feel isolating.

Now more than ever, mental health matters and every action counts. Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself during these difficult times.

  • Take breaks: Whether that’s turning off our devices for a bit or going for a walk, we all deserve some time away from the news and social media to remember what’s important to us.
  • Take care of your body: Taking deep breaths, going for a walk, stretching or meditating are great ways to ease any anxiety or stress you may be dealing with.
  • Connecting with others: Reach out to a friend or loved one to tell them about how you’re feeling. Let those close to you know how you’re doing, good or bad.
  • Have a routine: While it’s tempting to sleep or binge-watch television it’s important to maintain as normal of a routine as you can while engaging with activities you enjoy.
  • Control what you can control: It’s hard sometimes not to let our mind wander. Remember to use your energy on things you can control and things you can enjoy. Whether it’s starting a new hobby, video-chatting with friends or going outside for some fresh air.

There are plenty of resources you can turn to if you need support and can find them here.

How you can help end the stigma

Every action counts and helping end the stigma is just one way to help those suffering from mental illness.

These five ways will support those who may be struggling in silence:

  1. Educate yourself on the facts and myths when it comes to mental illness.
  2. Be kind to those who have opened up to you and let them know you are there for them.
  3. The act of asking and listening can be incredibly powerful. Giving the space for others to share how they are doing and feeling can be the first step to recovery for those struggling.
  4. Understand that language matters. What you say can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
  5. Just talking and expressing how we feel may seem small but can be a huge relief.

Olympians talk about mental health

Mental health doesn’t discriminate, whether you’re an elite athlete or a super fan.

Team Canada athletes have faced a ton of pressure, from performing in their sport to following strict health and safety protocols at all practices and competitions, causing many of them stress and anxiety.

READ: Team Canada athletes share their mental health challenges

Over the last two years, athletes opened up and shared their stories about how mental health has affected them. Like François Imbeau Dulac, whose eating disorder resurfaced during the pandemic. Or Olympic bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier who explained that days felt longer and more anxiety-ridden without having access to his team and regular training schedule. And Cynthia Appiah, who felt hopeless after training camps and practices were cancelled, leaving her to question if she should continue in her sport without having the ability to do what she loves.

While days seemed dark, some Team Canada athletes tried to find the positive or seek professional help, such as Danielle Lappage, who sustained an injury during the pandemic and leaned on those around her for support through her toughest days.

READ: Haley Smith: “My relationship with mental illness is still active

Whether it’s reaching out to a professional or leaning on friends, parents, coaches, partners or teammates. Team Canada athletes have not only demonstrated their resilience to push through the uncertainties but show all of us that even the toughest of athletes have moments where they need someone.

They have shown that reaching out for help is never a sign of weakness but is one step towards recovery. By expressing how they felt mentally, would only transfer into the success that they saw in their sport and their overall lives.