You were asked to talk about mental health and you came through with flying colours – all 122,150,772 conversations.
Bell Let’s Talk Day saw this record breaking number of tweets, texts, calls and shares which resulted in a new donation of more than $6 million to support mental health programs and services across Canada.
It was also a special day for us at Ontario Shores starting with an amazing morning at Williamsburg Public School. Our President and CEO Karim Mamdani and Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott visited with students and faculty for their own Let’s Talk Day event.
Students created wonderful Public Service Announcements that focused on reducing stigma and just being there for their friends. Students were also tasked with a project to pick and research specific mental health disorders. They were an impressive crew who obviously had put a lot of time and effort into their work. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Williamsburg’s Peter Creer and Jackie Cook for their work in supporting mental health education.
From there, Ontario Shores and Bell Let’s Talk teamed up for an information booth at the Pickering Town Centre. We had information about Bell Let’s Talk Day, Ontario Shores, mental health resources and support from our social workers Brian, Jennifer and Christa for those who wanted to ask clinical questions.
We live tweeted during the day and had a number of special guests come by including the Hon. Tracy MacCharles, Provincial Minister of Children and Youth Services and representatives from the offices of the Hon. Chris Alexander and fellow MP Corneliu Chisu. Pickering Councillors David Pickles and Ian Cumming stopped by as well as Pat McNeil, Director of the Canadian Electricity Association.
It was a great day, but for those with mental illness it’s not a one-day journey. We will continue to improve services for people with mental illness and their families. We also need to keep at it to reduce the stigma, so talking about mental illness becomes a normal part of everyday life.