Bell Let’s Talk Day is today, January 25th. A day that started back in 2011 inspired by mental health challenges and an effort to reduce them. 

A huge part of what we do at Zero Ceiling revolves around mental health, and the inadequate access to services that a large portion of people have. To give you a better idea, 30-35% of those experiencing homelessness in Canada, and up to 75% of women experiencing homelessness, have mental illnesses (Homeless Hub CA). Those who are suffering with mental illness are more likely to go down a path that leads to homelessness. Conversely, being homeless worsens mental illnesses. It’s a vicious cycle, and that’s why we’re taking part in Bell Let’s Talk Day.

Bell Let’s Talk Day has been a supporter of our programs for years and they’ve helped us fund the mental health supports we offer to our participants. Over the years, they have provided us with so much funding and we couldn’t be more grateful to them, and we’re so proud to be joining in the conversation today. 

A Theme of “Change”

Today, we’d like the world to join the conversation around mental health. If you’re unsure what to do, there’s the theme of “change” this year:

  • Choose a mental health organization to learn about or support
  • Help a friend struggling with their mental health by learning how to support them
  • Ask about how your school, workplace or community is creating change for mental health
  • Nurture your own well-being by practicing and learning mental health strategies 
  • Get involved in a mental health initiative or organize an event to support mental illnesses
  • Engage in conversations about mental health to fight stigma

The most important thing we can do is reduce the stigma that exists around mental illness. And to do that, we need to not be afraid to talk about it. Ask how your friends and family are going, and mean it. Listen to how they answer, and give them space to tell the truth and to talk about their feelings. 

Zero Ceiling’s Guiding Principles

We know the benefits of talking about our problems, and we know the benefit of holding space for people. Zero Ceiling has five guiding principles, and three of them surround the topic of mental health: “Unconditional Love”, “Grounded in Relationships and Community” and “Safety Net”. 

We aim to provide unconditional love to our participants and within our staff team, by seeing each individual as they are, and respecting the past we each hold and the traumas that may exist. 

We aim to listen to every individual and act with empathy and love. 

Wellbeing comes from the strength of the relationships and the community that we build and we recognize this. 

We want to embrace our participants and staff members within our community and in each of our relationships. 

We are the safety net for our participants and our staff. If we are called upon, we will be there with a soft place to land, giving us all the opportunity to try, fail, be caught, and try again. 

So let’s start the conversation this #BellLetsTalkDay