For many years here on the MissionLog, I’ve spoken about the impact of mental illness on our homeless friends out on the street. So I’m pleased this year to be taking part in a social media event called Bell Let’s Talk Day this year on January 28. Since 2010 Bell has contributed $62.5 million dollars to mental health initiatives in Canada. A large part of that is generated through activities on Bell Let’s Talk Day.
Two-thirds of homeless people using urban shelters suffer from some form of mental illness. Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health
What happens on Bell Let’s Talk Day? We are encouraged to communicate openly in public, through social media like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ about mental health issues to end the stigma associated with mental illness. 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer some form of mental illness at some point in their lives, but it’s still something we don’t like to talk about. Getting the facts and talking openly is important in helping people find support and treatment for their illness. Further, we can’t have a discussion on the root causes of homelessness without addressing mental health.
Here are some of the posts on the MissionLog that address mental health issues:
In one of my posts, I shared the following: “A recent study, by Heather Larkin of the University of Albany – shows the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences – ACE – and homelessness. From her study –
More than 85 percent of the homeless respondents reported having experienced at least one of 10 categories of adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Many (52.4 percent) had experienced more than four categories of traumatic events when growing up. … There is a high ACE prevalence among the homeless people in this study. Individuals with high ACE scores may be more vulnerable to economic downturns and cultural oppression, a person-environment interaction increasing the likelihood of homelessness. Service responses focused on identifying and addressing childhood traumas hold an opportunity for addressing ACEs before they contribute to homelessness.
By addressing mental health issues, we can take an important step in mitigating one of the major causes of homelessness. Here’s the bonus – by getting the word out on Bell Let’s Talk Day, you can help raise even more money.
So, on January 28, let’s talk.
Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:
- Text message sent*
- Mobile and long distance call made*
- *By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only
- Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
- Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image
Join the team and if you tweet on Twitter using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag, let me know there @canayjun
You can also connect with the Twitter team by going to @Bell_LetsTalk and @Healthy_Minds
See you out there on January 28th!
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