Dean On Campus Blog

Tomorrow. Let’s Talk.

Tuesday January 28th is the fourth annual “Bell Let’s Talk Day”. This national promotion is one of the pillars of the Bell Mental Health Initiative, which was launched in 2010 with a $50 million commitment by Bell to reduce the stigma of mental illness in this country.

bell-lets-talk

 

“Let’s Talk” is designed to engage all Canadians in the dialogue around mental health. Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives across Canada for every:

Text message sent*

Long distance call made*

Tweet using #BellLetsTalk

Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image

* By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer

Here is a brief and compelling video promoting Let’s Talk 2014. It speaks volumes in just 30 seconds.

As you may know, Queen’s has a strong connection to the Bell Mental Health Initiative. Dr. Heather Stuart, a professor in Community Health and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair (the world’s first academic chair specifically dedicated to addressing mental illness stigma).

On January 17th we announced a progressive new training program designed to improve how mental illness is addressed in the workplace. Developed by Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Morneau Shepell, Canada’s largest human resources consulting firm, the program enables learners to acquire additional skills, strategies and resources to address mental health issues in their working teams. Upon completion, program participants will receive a certificate from Queen’s. It will first be delivered to nearly 5,000 front-line managers at Bell Canada. I understand that the announcement has garnered more interest in the program from a number of organizations.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lives: it is an issue that affects us all. Tomorrow, let’s see if we can ‘five in five’ Canadian’s “talking” about mental illness and the attached stigma.  Text, tweet, like, to support Bell Let’s Talk Day and as a show of support for Canadians who are living with mental illness.

If you have any stories about mental health stigma, respond to the blog…or better yet, please drop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.

Richard

2 Responses to Tomorrow. Let’s Talk.

  1. Jackie Butler says:

    Dear Richard!!! I have very fond memories of Queen’s and even had an amazing experience with returning to Kingston for our 25th Anniversary Homecoming weekend this past fall. However, I must admit that there is alot lacking when it comes to follow-through for mental health. My son attends Queen’s and after a serious concussion while playing intramural rugby at Queen’s could not complete his first year….the faculty of Engineering was amazing attempting to get him back into studies after Christmas through their modified program but he was not ready mentally. On his own he has sought counselling and medical intervention through mental health at home. He attempted to once again attend Queen’s this past fall but had a relapse and had to be admitted to hospital. I’m not sure what the reasons are ( I suspect lack of funds from the government is right up there) but he did not receive counselling in hospital. They only observe the patients and change their medications. My son attempted to obtain counselling through Queen’s on a day pass basis when he was still in hospital but since he had to put his studies on hold due to medical reasons he did not qualify…Once again he has gone back to Queen’s after Christmas but dropped down to part-time studies. He attempted through numerous channels to sign up for part-time studies through Arts and Science but was told he had to pay Engineering prices which are over 3 times as expensive. He has also attempted to sign up for counselling once again through the mental health clinic at Queens and be pro-active in speaking with a counsellor before stress becomes an issue but was told the services are not available to him unless he is in crisis and suicidal!!!
    I appreciate all the media attention for Mental Health and having people come forward and talk and get past the stigma. However, we are at the stage where our young adults are coming forward and there is not a lot of services availalbe to them. If you are admitted to hospital you are only observed, offered painting classes and tai chi for relaxation but are not offered one on one counselling. I hope the day comes soon when Queens will step up to the plate and offer counselling sessions to these bright young adults when they recognize ahead of time that they need help and are being proactive and not wait until they are suicidal or at least offer them part-time classes at reduced prices….times are stressful enough without the added burden of financial worries if it takes a little longer to complete your studies.
    Thank you for listening to my concerns….we all need to voice our concerns so that these services are available when people come forward seeking help.
    regards, Jackie

    • reznickr says:

      Thanks Jackie

      I certainly appreciate your concerns. Indeed we are in the process of augmenting our counselling services and increasing out attention to student health and wellness.

      Richard

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