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Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk about Mental Health day!!! It’s amazing how there has been an increased awareness about the importance of mental health in society. Did you know that 1 in 5 people experience some form of mental illness? You probably know someone in your life right now suffering from mental illness, whether it’s diagnosed or not.  Mental illness can range from mood disorders like depression/anxiety/bipolar disorders to things like autism, dementia, personality disorders, etc. It’s a wide range, and a lot of people don’t realize the stigma associated with all of these things… and it is for this exact reason that people suffering from mental illnesses are less inclined to actively seek out for help. For fear that people will judge them. Will look down upon them.

People have the misconception that people who have a mental illness are ‘faking’ it because unlike a physical disability/illness, it is not apparent. And that it’s literally all in their head and they’re just making it up. Or people think that they can “just snap out of it” when they can’t. Did you know that mental illness not only affects a person emotionally, but it can affect every aspect of their life? It’s a never ending cycle. For example, a person with depression will have negative cognitive distortions which will only continue to perpetuate. They become lethargic, and more socially isolated, which only leads them to have more time to delve into these cognitive distortions, making things worse. It affects their self-care, productivity, leisure… everything.

And mental illness is NOT associated with violent acts/crimes. People who have mental illnesses are not dangerous. Unfortunately, these little misconceptions continue to be perpetuated into our daily lives, which adds to the stigma. It is definitely a topic that should not be overlooked. So let’s raise some awareness of this important issue, so that people who have a mental illness feel more comfortable and willing to seek for help! And perhaps the people who have or are suffering from a mental illness will be more willing to share their stories! So let’s get this movement started!

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