Bell Let’s Talk Day

Message from the Ombudsman | 30 January 2019

 

Sometimes life overwhelms us, and it’s okay to ask for help.

We have all faced challenges at some point in our lives. Every situation, no matter how it may appear on the surface, is unique and tailor fit for each of us. The one common thread is that we are not alone.

In the early 2000s, I was a Petty Officer 2nd Class with the Naval Reserve when I suffered three losses within months of each other — the passing of my father and two of my military colleagues.

Help came at the right time when the unit was offered counselling after the tragic accidental loss of a junior member. My decision to take up this offer of services from the military made all the difference, despite my apprehension.

Sometimes, the very nature of a mental illness can make it difficult, if not impossible, to reach out for help. If you see someone struggling, you can reach out to them. You can be their lifeline just by listening and being present.

The stigma surrounding mental health, like all stigma, comes from fear and a lack of understanding.

We all have experiences to share; stories to tell. Stories of loss, of pain, and of grief.

Through my own experience with grief and loss, I have learned that sometimes situations can be overwhelming and it’s okay to ask for help.

When we talk – when we speak up – when we share our stories, we begin to understand that we are not the only ones. There are others going through similar experiences, and the fear, the stigma, the loneliness subsides.

Let’s make Bell Let’s Talk Day the catalyst to keep the conversation going every day, and help end the stigma around mental health.

I spoke up. I asked for help. And I received it. You can too.

 

Gregory A. Lick
Ombudsman

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