As winter comes to the coronaworld, I'm trying out different things to keep me busy. One of those things is a weekly post to share things I think are cool/important/fun/interesting, from books to shows to podcasts and other things in between. -M.R.

Tomorrow is apparently Bell Let's Talk Day, an event that has made me uneasy since its introduction. Basically, Bell has managed to turn the conversation about reducing the stigma of mental illness into a way to garner corporate goodwill.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with posting on social media about #bellletstalk, here are some suggestions of ways that you might contribute even more to the discussion on mental health, especially during a year when everyone has been talking about it. I've attempted to include both high and low effort options.
  • Contact your MLA about mental health services in your province and improvements or changes that you want to see.
  • Make your own donation to an organization that supports mental health initiatives. Here are some ways to donate to the Canadian Mental Health Association, for example.
  • Support a program or study like the ongoing FARMh Initiative, a research project to study mental health support systems for Farmers and Ranchers
  • Reach out to a loved one and ask how they're doing. This doesn't have to be someone that you know is dealing with a diagnosed mental illness, because (a) many, many people will deal with mental illness over the course of their lives and may not talk about it, and also (b) I think many of us appreciate having others reach out during this time, even when we're feeling fine. I know I certainly do.
This is a topic that's quite close to my heart, and I really wish that as a society we were much better and confronting mental health issues, treating them, and talking about them. I've tried to be relatively open about my own mental health struggles, although it does remain difficult to talk about. But, the more people who can talk about this topic openly, the better.

If you're reading this, I hope you're doing well. If you aren't, please reach out for help to someone in your life or to one of the resources listed here.

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