ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

#LetsTalk: There's Still Stigma

Updated on January 31, 2018
Christina St-Jean profile image

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more daily than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, & LGBT advocacy.

We Need To Talk

Source

No One Said Talking About Mental Health Would Be Easy

January's been a heck of a brutal month for me, and probably for countless others.

Two sick kids with high fevers. A car accident. A high car bill which had nothing to do with said accident.

I'm trying very hard to keep things in perspective. My kids, thankfully, did not need to go to the hospital as a result of their high fevers, and are now well - in fact, the teenager is back to running around in sneakers and a wide-open jacket even though it was -12 C with a windchill of -22 C yesterday. With the accident, no one was hurt and it happened at a slow enough velocity that the airbags didn't even deploy. With the bill, well, given time, even that can be paid off.

However, for someone with a mental health challenge such as anxiety (and I've spoken about my struggles with that previously), three little things such as that can leave darker feelings at times that follow you around like a bad smell.

Like so many others, I throw on masks when I have days like that. The big smile, the gregariousness, the optimism: all of these do a great job masking the racing heart or the unsettled tummy from the endless worries and questions tumbling through the brain. I'm a fierce proponent of the idea of "fake it til you make it" on days like these; it may not necessarily make the anxiety go away completely, but no one was ever killed by smiling or trying to have a good attitude even when things feel lousy. Very often, I end up feeling far better just from trying to maintain more positivity when it feels at first like there's not much to feel positive about.

You know what else helps? Talking about mental health, which is why I look forward to Bell Let's Talk Day every year.

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I remember thinking at the time that there probably wouldn't be very many people engaged in retweeting about #BellLetsTalkDay or hashtagging about it on social media. I was hopeful that people would perhaps be willing to be a part of the conversation surrounding mental health, but at the time, I felt really like that a day like Bell Let's Talk Day might crash and burn because of the stigma surrounding mental health.

I was certainly wrong, and I'm glad for that.


Howie Mandel On Mental Health And The Importance Of Talking

"You Feel Very Alone...And That's The Point Of Talking" - Howie Mandel

Human beings are about connection. There's no two ways about it. We simply cannot go through this world truly alone.

Yet, when you have mental health challenges, it can feel as though you are the loneliest person on the planet. There's still the notion out there that you can't really talk about your mental health without getting a strange look or someone telling you to just smile more or feel better.

But that's why campaigns like Let's Talk exist: because we need to talk. Talking about mental health challenges demystifies what's happening and makes it real. It helps us forge those all-important connections with others so we have something of a "crew" who's got our back when things might feel at their lowest.

No one said it's easy to talk about. It needs to happen, though, so the stigma and the loneliness surrounding mental health conditions can diminish and so that we can understand more about each other as a result. It would be nice if someone with depression could just get a good night's sleep and feel instantly better the next day, but it doesn't work that way. It would be wonderful if people with anxiety all had similar triggers and situations so we could just look up how to stop feeling the way we do and feel truly calm and at peace inside. I'm certain an easy cure for a mental health disorder would also be wanted by those with OCD or ADHD (I was surprised when WebMD classified this as a "mental disorder") or schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or any one of the whole host of mental health disorders currently plaguing thousands of people today.

The fact of the matter is, there's so many individuals out there living with mental health challenges and just not talking about them. There's so many who just don't have a good understanding of what these mental health conditions are or how to help those struggling with mental health. We need to talk about mental health so we can look at how to support each other in the same way those with physical health challenges are also supported.

So, come on - let's talk.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)