Today is the magnificent day dedicated to #BellLetsTalk – January 27th, 2016. It is one day where we are encouraged  to think about Mental Health and to “talk the talk” when it comes to being open to learning more and being supportive of those who may have a need.

Fundamental to “talk” is listening. If we listen with an open ear and open mind to family, friends, neighbours, co-workers – or even a passer by, who may appear to be in need; WE can truly make a difference. Their appearance may not be what triggers you. They may “look fine”. It is in their words or their body language where you will pick up a sense of need through your listening.

By listening for that mental health need, we may offer support to someone who may be reluctant to reach out. By listening and being open to hear and understand that someone is in need – we help remove the stigma. You help get them through the discomfort of raising their issue with you.

Someone facing a mental health issue hasn’t done anything wrong. Only through listening and then being open to supporting them can we help that person in need understand that it is ok to speak up and be supported. Give them comfort to open up and express themselves.

Being open to listening for someone struggling with something in their mind, can and will make a difference. By pretending that everything is ok, and it’s “not my issue” is not helping. If you felt that they were in despair, would you not want to help out? Check in with them, listen for their need.

On this #BellLetsTalk day, be open to listen for that opportunity to help someone in your circle or community. It may be someone close to you. It may be someone you pass on the street. It may be someone posting something on line in a network looking for support. By listening for these conversations in need of support…we can truly make a difference.

Thanks for listening, and being a pillar of support in your community. Thanks for supporting more openess in Mental Health. Let’s take the “I” out of illness and replace it with a “WE” for wellness !

@FergDevins  @DevinsNetwork