Today is Bell Let's Talk Day, a day for Canadians to reflect on how we are caring for our mental health, as well as that of our families and our communities.
We are living in a perfect storm—the COVID-19 pandemic, disruption in the economy and our personal lives, and emotional tax from the impacts of racism and bias on marginalized groups. Subsequently, we are all learning that mental health is at the core of our health and well-being.
As KPMG in Canada's Chief Mental Health Officer, I have had numerous opportunities to connect with people of all backgrounds and levels across the country on this topic. We can't deny that the events of the last year have had a real impact on our collective mental health as many continue to face greater isolation than ever before. Not surprisingly, over this past year the number of people reaching out to me to discuss mental health has been at an all-time high.
In some ways, this is positive—it tells me that, as a society, we've made progress in reducing stigma and encouraging people to seek help since Bell Let's Talk Day was first introduced 10 years ago. The theme of this year's campaign—'every action counts'—really resonated with me. It's a message for us to take steps now to proactively build our mental health toolkits. It's a call to action that we all need to embrace.
In my discussions with people who are struggling, I always ask them the same question: 'What's in your mental health toolkit?" A mental health toolkit is a collection of knowledge, positive habits, and resources you can invest in to support your mental health, now and in the future. A well-stocked toolkit will help you identify signs that you are struggling, and help you employ practical strategies and actions you can take when faced with a setback.
To build your mental health toolkit, I recommend getting started with the following: