SUMMERSIDE – Family Service P.E.I. wants the stigmas associated with mental health issues to disappear, and that’s what the Bell Let’s Talk Day is helping to achieve.
In 2010, Bell launched its charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of Canadians’ mental illness.
Today, Bell will donate five cents more to mental health initiatives across Canada for every text sent, long distance call made, Tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image made by Bell or Bell Aliant customers.
Nearly 12,000 adults and children on the Island receive services from Health P.E.I.’s Mental Health and Addictions each year, which include psychiatric assessments and treatment, individual and group therapy and children’s mental health services.
Over the course of their lives, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness and every family will be affected in some way.
People can find it difficult to reach out and access the services they require, said Denise Lockhart, Executive Director of Family Service P.E.I.
“P.E.I. is a small place, our families are close and our communities are tight. There is a fear of people finding out that you need therapeutic support from a professional,” said Lockhart.
People can also have trouble when it comes to important aspects of their life for fear of what others may say about their mental health, she said.
“In fact, most people living with a mental disorder say that stigma is worse than the symptoms they feel.”
Family Service P.E.I. helps Islanders target stressful issues in their lives and helps them to make improvements.
It is a non-profit community-based organization with a goal of providing credit and therapeutic counseling services, regardless of one’s ability to pay.