The statistics tell us that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime, yet 2 out of 3 of those individuals will never seek help, choosing instead to suffer in silence because of the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. That stigma stops people from getting the help that they need and can make those individuals feel even more isolated. But we can change that, and we’re encouraging our students to do so.
On Wednesday, January 28, our grade 7 and 8 students will join thousands of other students from grades 7 through 12 from across Canada as they participate in the Bell Let’s Talk Day webcast. This webcast will feature Clara Hughes, Michael Landsberg and other guests who will share their personal stories and help encourage those watching to work to end the stigma using Bell’s Let’s Talk 5 simple steps:
- Language Matters
- Educate Yourself
- Be Kind
- Listen and Ask
- Talk About It
Although Bell Let’s Talk Day takes place on Wednesday, January 28th, talking about mental health issues is not just a one day event. We encourage our students to have these conversations every day and we actively work to help them better understand what overall student wellness includes. If they can recognize when something just does not feel right, and they know that they will be listened to without shame or fear, then we’re doing our part to help reduce the stigma and encourage dialogue around such an important topic. We also know that prevention and early intervention are key for those experiencing a mental health issue. This was a reason why our school trained our faculty and staff in Mental Health First Aid during 2014. It is why we strive to promote overall student wellness through our programs, curriculum, and extra-curricular offerings. It is a reason why our Parent Network began the #KCS_TTM (Talk That Matters) Speaker Series for students this year. And finally, it is because knowing each and every one of the students at the school is important, not just for academic planning, but also to ensure that we can see when that conversation needs to happen as early intervention in the area of mental health is so important.
Director of Student Life