Faye Arcand

Let’s Chat About the Importance of Mental Health

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Thursday, January 28

Now more than ever, every action counts. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

sourced from Bell Canada

Bringing the discussion of mental health to the forefront is such a positive step in not only bringing people together, but raising awareness of this growing issue.

Do you cringe at the idea of talking about mental health? Is it too personal? or maybe it makes you think only of the stigma and negativity? Things are changing and you’re not alone.

I’m not an expert. Oh man, I’m as far away as an expert as anyone. I’m an Auntie–simple as that.

What I know though, is that having someone in your corner that you trust and can talk to openly (like an Auntie), can be a lifesaver.

Mental health takes on so many different and very serious life issues that I wouldn’t even begin to try and tackle them here today. There are experts in the field working diligently on making things better and I applaud them.

One thing about young people that I’ve noticed in the last few years, is the increase of Social Anxiety.

In my day, I suppose we would have called it shyness or some sort of avoidance behavior. I’ve learned from talking with young people and doing my own research that social anxiety goes a lot further than being shy–it is a disorder that’s very real.

Social Anxiety can be paralyzing to the point of isolation, physical responses like shortness of breath or racing heart beat, and in turn keep a young person–or anyone for that matter–from living their authentic life.

What I want all young people to realize is that social anxiety is a recognized disorder and there is help.

I know there’s no way to solve any issues in 600 word but if you’re willing to move forward with a fuller life with less social anxiety then there are some things that you can do. Now remember, I’m not a doctor, you may need to go have a chat with your physician or therapist to develop a plan, but just considering the following is a step in the right direction.

Some things you can do today…

replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
  • Breathe….deep cleansing breaths that clear your head
  • Begin the journey to liking who you are.
  • Talk to someone about how you’re really feeling.
  • Self Affirmations. I need you to believe in yourself.
  • Know you’re not alone.
  • Write down how you feel in situations. What could you change?
  • Start by taking one step at a time.
  • See a doctor or therapist if required
  • Consider and weigh the pros and cons of medication
  • Do something you like but somewhere else…so if you like to read, maybe take it outside.
  • Is this list stressing you out? Remember, you’re in charge of you. Choice is a wonderful thing.

Social Anxiety is enough to handle without being told what to do at every turn. I don’t want you to miss out on living your best life though. Read some of the articles listed below to start. You’ll see you’re not alone and there are some solutions if you chose to work on it. I know you can do it. You’re so much stronger than you realize.

Here are a few other articles on young people and mental health.

Social Anxiety Part One and Part Two

What Are you Afraid of?

Are you in a Funk? Some solutions.

A Letter To Young People Everywhere

Are you Walking Around Angry All the Time?

You’re not alone. Even if you feel like you are. Keep the numbers to the local Mental Health unit in your phone. Hey, you might need them for a friend, right?

The Kids Help Line:

“Kids Help Phone is always there for you. No matter what you want to talk about, we’re here to listen. No judgment, totally private, 24/7. Click here for more information.

Call a counsellor: 1-800-668-6868 Text: 686868

Adults: Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text  45645 If it’s an emergency dial 9-1-1

Check out the Crisis Services Canada Website.

Be safe. Be healthy. Reach out.

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