Lets get real about Bell Talk : Why is it the time to stop talking and to start acting!

For the 9th year in a row, Bell Talk was inflaming our social media yesterday. By 1h30pm, the campaign had reached more than 50 million shares and by the end of the day, it surpassed 145 million interactions.

It is truly amazing since because of that, Bell will give almost 7.3 million dollars to mental health programs.

But while talking about mental health is great, it’s been almost 10 years since we began the conversation and despite that, the rate of depression and mental illnesses are only increasing.

For things to change, we need to stop talking. It’s time we take action!

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of illness and disability for young people aged 10 to 19 years.

Let me share a few, not so fun fact, with you.

Did you know that by age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness?

Furthermore, the OSM as concluded that by next year, depression will be the second leading cause of disability.

Now, can you guess what is the number 1 cause of mental health problems?

If you think work, you are absolutely right!

Bell Talks but do they act?

You might wonder how it is to work for an employer that as such openness about mental health.

You probably think that stigmas are non existent there and that health is a core value of the company. I understand, one might think so with all the talking right? Unfortunately, like for most companies, it is far from the truth.

By talking about it instead of acting on it, employers transfers to the individual the responsibility for his or her mental health. While they talk, we forget about the system, which does not make a lot of effort to change.

What exactly is this system, you say? Human resources management, of course!

Raising questions and getting real.

Each week, 500 K Canadian workers are on sick-leave due to a common mental disorder. Chances are, you are, or have been one of them.

At least, I can say that I was.

Since, you spend most of your day at work, it is essential for companies, including Bell, to address the mental health issues that arise in the workplace.

Knowing that preventing work related mental health issues are less expensive for employers, why do we still need to address this problem?

Every great entrepreneur knows that human resources are the most valuable company asset. Or at least, they should. Still, most people get toxic work environment. We can’t get sick more than a few times a year but still are expected to be productive when we are.

Additionally, most jobs, like in call centers, for example, consist of repetitive tasks. Lets not forget about the limited vacations. And most importantly, demanding bosses with extremely high expectations.

Did you ever heard the saying: People don’t quit their jobs; they quit their managers?

Then again, since managers are also responsible for establishing company core values, employees do quit their jobs too. Considering everything, why can’t we stop talking and just start acting?

Mental Health statistics for Canadian employees
Source : Canadian Mental Health Association

The Canadian Company who acts.

For Simon De Baene, GSoft co-founder and president, placing people at the heart of organizations is key.

He is convinced that by doing so, it will revolutionize the world of work and it is time to change if we want to create great things in the future. GSoft made a bold and inspiring statement. “We want to build the most epic work environment, have fun and innovate”.

Most importantly, they deliver!

Ultra-bright working environment, unlimited vacation policy and uncounted sick days. With those solutions, GSoft is actively participating in their employees health state.

While employee turnover rate is awfully high in call centers, Marianne Lemay, human resources manager at GSoft, says that she had completed only one departure interview in a year.

You could agree with me that an employee turnover rates are a great pointer to evaluate how well a company is treating their human resources right? If so, you are in the right direction. Now, I know that you might not be a position to change how companies manages their employees.

Nonetheless, you can still change your tune and start acting rather than talking.

Work being the number one reason for stress
Source : Statistic Canada

4 ways to take action regarding mental health.

1. Learn.

Did you share the #BellTalk yesterday on social media? Yes. Awesome!

Now be honest, did you take the time to go on letstalk.bell.ca to download their Toolkit to educate yourself about mental health?

See, when a colleague, a loved one or even a stranger talks about their high levels of stress, fatigue or anxiety, you need to be aware that these are signs of mental health issues.

Knowledge is power. That’s how you can make a difference.

2. Listen.

Did you share your stories and talked about stigmas during the campaign? It is honorable and I thank you for that.

Now, put yourself back when you were struggling and think about how it would have been different if the people around you were listening. Would you have felt supported and loved?

Knowing that you were not alone could have made you feel stronger right?

Whenever someone talks to you, listen. Actively.

3. Show up.

Whether it is to help one individual in need or when it’s a social initiative, be there. Good or bad, we all have a mental health. More than ever, it is important that we prioritize it.

We simply cannot ignore the data and the needs anymore. In fact, the OMS now qualifies suicide as a global imperative.

Next time you see a mental health initiative, show up.


4. Take responsibility.

Did you see Richard Pimentel’s speech about living a beautiful life? If not, I strongly recommend that you do right after this article.

Richard Pimentel is a veteran described as an all-round hero and in one part of his speech, he said something that deeply resonated with me. I think it will with you as well.” Responsibility is made of two words: The word response and the word ability.”

He then proceeded to explain that responsibility is not something that someone puts on you; it is a matter of responding to a situation if you have the ability to do so.

One thing that is amazing about our era, is that you literally have access to a world full of information at your fingertips. The World Wide Web is giving you abilities and knowledge like never before.

With that in mind, do you have the ability to take your smartphone and to search for crisis numbers when someone needs help?

Can you simply reach into your pocket and dial that number if your friend doesn’t have the strength to do it?

Moreover, do you have the ability to read about civil rights when you find that it is outrageous for your spouse to be bounced back and forth in the medical system?

At last, do you have the ability to speak up when your employer ask what can they do to promote good mental health in the workplace?

Yes? Than respond.

Bonus Tip on how you can take action right now!

Like and follow our Mental Health exhibition page and invite all your friends as well!

Listen to Richard Pimentel’s speech right here.

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