When we are worried about the mental health of a friend or family member, mentioning our concerns can feel awkward. You want to be supportive but may be nervous that you’re being nosey, intrusive, or perhaps afraid you will say the wrong thing. But the more we talk about mental health, the more comfortable the topic will become.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna wants you to know that you don’t need to have all the answers in order to support someone going through a tough time. The first step is breaking the silence.
“As a community, we need to lean into these conversations,” says Shelagh Turner, Executive Director of CMHA Kelowna, “It is less about knowing what to say, and more about being a good listener.”
This means approaching conversations with compassion, as well as taking time to learn more about mental health and the resources that are available or still needed in our community.
“We are hearing from more and more people that they are having these conversations, asking for help for themselves and others and this is wonderful for stigma reduction,” says Turner, “We need to keep the momentum going and continue to work for timely and low-barrier access to mental health resources.”
Building a mentally healthy community starts with letting people know that they are not alone. You can also contribute by volunteering your time or making a donation to support local programs and services.