BROCKVILLE – January 25, 2017 is Bell’s “Let’s Talk” day. This national campaign, led by Bell, aims to break the stigma around mental health. According to recent statistics one out of five people struggle with mental health, ranging from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia, and mood disorders, to name a few. These conditions can impact a person’s personal life, family life and their work life.
Social workers on Brockville General Hospital’s Mental Health Crisis Team indicate that many people keep their struggles private for fear of being judged, being misunderstood, or in the extreme a belief that they might lose their job or others “wouldn’t like them” should their secret became public. Some people choose to self-medicate using street drugs and/or alcohol. These coping strategies may provide temporary relief but they do not help in the long term. Often substance dependencies can lead to more severe difficulties.
The Mental Health Crisis Team is a 24/7 phone service available to all persons over the age of 16 who are experiencing any emotional difficulties. Emotional difficulties are specific to the individual. When callers contact the crisis line (613-345-4600) they speak with trained, regulated healthcare professionals. This team can suggest resources, options for treatment to help shine a healing light on the caller’s challenges. Breaking that silence is the first step that will enable healing to begin. It may not always be a smooth road, but once you have a trusted someone by your side the journey can appear more manageable.
Youth under 16 years of age experiencing a need to talk are encouraged to reach out to the Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville at 613-489-4844 during business hours or afterhours at 1-800-668-6868. For more details, visit their website at www.cmhlg.ca.
For the Mental Health Crisis Team, and many of their callers, help truly is a call away. This service is operated 24/7. When callers call the line, they have the opportunity to speak with a trained healthcare professional to listen and suggest services that will help the individual’s situation.
If you or someone you know needs to talk, call the Mental Health Crisis Team at 613-345-4600.
“As a society we have come a long way in our treatment of mental health conditions. There are effective treatments through medication, psychotherapy, mindfulness, et cetera, which have improved the quality of lives for many people. The first step on this journey is reaching out and breaking the silence.” Dr. Robert Malone, Chief, Psychiatry, Brockville General Hospital
“We all need someone to talk to. For some a family member or close friend can be the easiest choice, however sometimes talking with someone outside one’s usual contacts is the preferred option. This is where our crisis line is useful. The staff who manage this line are highly trained professionals. We respect that each patient is unique and supporting them through their personal crisis is our goal.” Linda Peever, Senior Director, Clinical Services, Brockville General Hospital
- Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
- One in five Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
- Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
- Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.