Let’s Talk at CFB Esquimalt

Bell Lets Talk

Jan. 30 marks Maritime Forces Pacific’s (MARPAC) support of Bell Let’s Talk Day, an initiative to reduce the stigma of mental health by talking about it openly and honestly. 

Here are a few ways you can help end the stigma:

Language Matters
The words you use can make all the difference. Words can help, but they can also hurt. Think about what words you are using to discuss mental illness and whether or not those words perpetuate or reduce the stigma. 

Educate Yourself
The stigma around mental illness has been around for a long time and knowing the facts and myths about mental health is a great way to help reduce the stigma. So take the time to learn about mental health – there are great resources listed here.
Be Kind
Simple acts of kindness, such as giving a smile, being an active listener, or inviting someone for coffee and a chat, can make a world of difference and help open the conversation and let someone know you are there for them.
Listen and Ask
Mental illness is a very common form of human pain and suffering. Being an active listener and asking how you can support someone is the first step in their recovery. You don’t need to have all the answers, just being there for the people you care about is often enough. 
Talk About it
Mental illness affects us all in some way, either directly or through a friend, family member, colleague, or loved one. Stories of people who have experienced mental health issues and who are doing well can help to challenge stereotypes. Let’s start to break the silence and reduce the stigma. 

Join us at the Collier Theatre (Building WP1094) on Jan. 30th at 11 a.m. to view the CAF Facebook panel discussion on mental health and join the conversation for Bell Let’s Talk Day.

CFB Halifax is hosting a CAF Bell Let’s Talk Day panel discussion on mental health featuring Bell Ambassador (and Veteran) Bruno Guévremont, CAF clinicians and local and national CAF members who have experienced mental health struggles throughout their careers. 
This panel discussion will be livestreamed on the Canadian Armed Forces Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CanadianForces). 

If you are unable to attend the viewing at the Collier Theatre, the panel discussion recording will be available on Facebook following the livestream. So, feel free to hold your own Bell Let’s Talk discussion and CAF panel viewing on a day and time that works best for your workplace or unit. 
Jan. 30th isn’t the only day to talk about mental health. 
Let’s keep the conversation going throughout the year. 

Hold Your Own Bell Let’s Talk Conversation

If you want to be a part of the conversation, visit the Bell Let’s Talk website and download the Facilitator’s Guide that provides useful information and resources on how you can start a discussion within your workplace or unit. 

Along with the Facilitator’s Guide, there is also a Bell Let’s Talk PowerPoint presentation, speaker’s notes, and informational handouts. These resources will support you, as a facilitator, in creating a safe and supportive environment where participants feel comfortable expressing and responding to ideas.
If you are going to facilitate a discussion, make sure to set aside plenty of time for conversation and questions. The suggested time in the manual is 40 minutes, with an additional 10-15 minutes to wrap up and answer any questions.
There are free Bell Let’s Talk posters available for download on the Bell Let’s Talk website to help promote your discussion. You can also get in contact with Health Promotion to receive some Bell Let’s Talk promotional swag (eg. toques, stickers, pens, buttons, bracelets) for your participants. Email Andrea (Andrea.Lam@forces.gc.ca) or drop by the Naden Athletic Centre at the Health Promotion offices before January 30th. 
Let’s start the conversation, MARPAC!

Mental Health Affects Us All: 
MARPAC Fleet Chief CPO1 Jaquemot tells his story

As your Fleet Chief and MARPAC military co-chair for the Mental and Social Wellness Working Group, I want to share my personal experience with you on mental health.

Mental health affects us all directly or indirectly, and it is important for us to realize that our ability to function and continue to operate in or near the “green” on the mental health continuum can sometimes be out of our control. 
Back in 2017, in my previous position as Coxswain, there was a very significant injury to one of our sailors that occurred during our deployment. 
While I had always been able to approach most situations in a direct “deal with it” and/or fall back on my training, this is one aspect I was not necessarily ready to deal with on my own. 
Over the course of the next few days following the incident I began to internalize the incident and feel that I had failed the member, the crew and command; it seemed like the rest of the folks around me were just going on about their tasks like nothing happened. 
Pride in me to talk about this became a road block to opening up to anyone. 
The more I internalized, the more I believed that given my position and the need to continue to lead the rest of the team, I had to be seen as the status quo. The fact is, this began consuming my thoughts. 
After a few days, I realized that I needed to open up about this, and since I had developed a good honest relationship with my Commanding Officer, I knew I could talk frankly to him and discuss how I felt. While it was difficult to open up emotionally, his compassion and empathy were truly genuine. 
In hindsight, I realize that I just needed someone to talk to and explain how I felt. It helped me process better and move on. 
While my situation is unique, as are others, the mere fact that I was able to reach out and share what I was feeling certainly was the process that enabled me to go from injured to healthy within a few days. 
My point in all this is that we are all susceptible to mental injuries. We must be able to live within an environment in the CAF where peers and supervisors are there to provide support, as well as using the professional mental health resources to support us so that we can stay resilient.

Other Mental Health Resources
Check out these websites for more information on mental health.
Guarding Minds at Work: www.guardingmindsatwork.ca
Working Through It: www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/wti/HomePage.aspx
Great West Life: Workplace Strategies for Mental Health: 
Partners for Mental Health: www.notmyselftoday.ca

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.