Every day should feature “Bell Let’s Talk” awareness

Everyone can help fight this beast.

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Mental diseases are bastards, because they are camouflage to everybody not named “you”.

They can’t be cured, or properly treated. There is also no way to detect how severe they can get. You don’t see this particular train coming. It isn’t like an alcohol addiction, where you can follow steps, get help, and try to recover. Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder are things you are born with; tiny assholes in your brain that never leave you alone.

Jan. 31 is Bell Let’s Talk day. The national day to tweet about helping millions out with these terrible conditions. Frankly, every day should be Bell Let’s Talk day. 24/7/365. Every day, someone is hurting, dealing with, or fighting depression. People are trying to not feel strangled by anxiety in public or tough situations. It’s not limited to one day.

What is Bell Let’s Talk? Back in 2010, a group of people in Canada starting something called “Bell Let’s Talk” as a way to discuss mental illnesses more often. Before long, millions of Canadians were extending the conversation and bringing in more people. Conversations were starting and the stigma was getting thrown around the ring by regular people. Through government help and corporations, Bell Let’s Talk have generated $86 million for research and care of people dealing with mental illnesses. 

There was one time when I got truly offended by someone talking about depression. He was making light of it by saying everyone deals with it and that it’s not that big of a deal. That person is a fucking idiot, because they are wrong. When people deal with CLINICAL depression, it’s more than simply feeling bad for a few hours one day. You don’t just sit around and cry one day before feeling better. Depression and anxiety can rise up and beat you any day it wants. Making light of it is a way for people to tuck themselves in easier at night. They are the problem.

The solution is simple conversation. Medicine helps for sure, taking away parts of the pain. However, having someone to talk to is the cornerstone of all treatment. That is why Bell Let’s Talk keeps their phone lines open 24/7 and there is a suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. When you are at your darkest hour, there’s always a voice waiting to make you feel better. It won’t take all the pain away, but it does brighten up the immediate future. Sometimes, all you need is a kind voice on the other line. A stranger who gets it.

I used to think of people who committed suicide as cowards, especially those with kids. Why would you abandon those poor young souls? Then I realized I didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about. I didn’t suffer from depression, but loved ones around me did, so I grew some intelligence on my train of thought on the subject, reloading a new way of thinking. I don’t understand those affected, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help them. It doesn’t mean I should disregard their struggle and shove their pain into a genre.

A South City resident passed away this month. He took his own life. I didn’t know this guy, but I wondered what made him do it. I imagined the pain he was going through in his mind at the last moment, the second he closed the book for good. I couldn’t figure it out, and that is because I don’t know enough about severe depression, thus I don’t call it what it surely isn’t. What I wish for is the chance to speak to that person before he left. Talk to him honestly about life and the fruits that await a turnaround. I wanted that opportunity to connect with a stranger.

Even if you can’t completely understand mental illness, you sure can avenge its effects, and help others deal with it. The fight is never over. Every day is a battle for some. They need help. It’s everyone’s job to stand in front of them and protect.

If this sounds corny, it’s due to the fact that the seriousness of the disease can’t be understated. We need to knock this thing the fuck out.

Bell Let’s Talk started in Canada, but it made its way down to the United States. It’s become a part of the National conversation.

A few years ago, I was in a hospital talking to a doctor about my grandmother, and he told me how unpredictable the brain was, and how hard it was to treat injuries to it. Unlike the heart, there isn’t a known method of attacking an issue up top. That extends to mental diseases as well. The mind is full of possibilities, and that’s a good and bad thing.

Some day, mental illness will be defeated. For now, let’s talk about it. Like every day.

Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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