Yes I realize I’m a day late to the party. Bell Let’s Talk Day may have been yesterday but the topic of mental health is still as relevant today.

The Bell Let’s Talk initiative has been amazing in opening up a dialogue around the topic of mental health and mental illness, it allows people the opportunity to share their experiences with those around them and use the power of social media to share on a much larger scale.

Every January 31st for the past few years has been filled with people talking openly about their experiences with mental illness. This is a day where people feel safe enough to open up and talk about their mental health, there’s this sense that everyone out there is listening with an open and non-judgemental mind. But what happens when February 1st roles around? In my experience the conversation stops. This topic is too big and too serious to be confined to one day, which is why today I’m still talking and listening, a month or 6 months from now I’ll still be talking and listening.

I recently read a great book by Youtuber Hannah Witton and one quote that really stuck with me was this:

“It just takes one person to say something out loud and then we can start to help and support each other by sharing our own experiences.”

Don’t stop sharing your experiences, don’t stop being supportive of those who are going through difficult times and perhaps most importantly don’t stop being available to listen if someone needs it.

There are 365 days in a year, I can almost guarantee you that someone, somewhere is going through something on every single one of those days. Whether it’s a family member, close friend, coworker or yourself. Don’t stop talking because once one person talks everyone around them feels less alone.

Mental illness is something I have struggled with in a variety of different forms. Depression, anxiety and an eating disorder are all things I experienced over the last several years.

In high school I was given a piece of advice from a teacher that really stuck with me and to this day I still remind myself of it on a regular basis. This teacher told me that it’s important to make an effort to recognize the good days. These days will likely feel very infrequent in the beginning but throughout your journey of recovery you begin to notice that those good days appear more frequently. Slowly it becomes not just one good day at a time but rather a string of several good days. Over time these strings of good days become longer and longer until the good days aren’t the anomalies, it’s the bad days that are.

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