#BellLetsTalk can be... a lot. It can be difficult to know what to say, and it can be even harder to know when to listen. But it's also so so important. We asked the Ethereal community what they wish people knew about mental health, and why they think it's important. Here's what they said.
"Something I wish people knew about mental illness/wellness is that it is a part of yourself that you need to take care of. Many pretend that mental illness is not a “real thing” that people suffer from. Just as people are encouraged to see a doctor if they break a bone, people need to be encouraged to seek professional help to take care of their mental health. It needs to be taken seriously since it is crucial to overall health and well-being. #BellLetsTalk" – Talia
"I wish people knew that it isn't my fault. No matter what genetics say, I'll be there for my kids and remind them that it's ok to not be ok. I want them to remember the women in our family not as depressed but as fighters and as brave individuals. #BellLetsTalk" – Jessica Dinelle
"I wish people knew that mental illness does not mean there’s something wrong with a person. Instead, it means that those of us who struggle with mental illness need a different kind of support and live life a bit differently. We are all human, doing the best we can." – Stacey Jones
"I wish people knew that I am the same person I was before they found out I was diagnosed with a mental illness. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for most of my life & I wish people knew that it wasn’t about fitting into the perfect prom dress, or vanity. Mental illness is real. And it’s not as easy as “just staying calm” when you struggle with anxiety, or “being positive” when you have depression, much like you can’t be cured by “just eating” when you’re battling an eating disorder. Mental illness is real, it’s painful, AND.. we are still human. I am still Lauren, you are still you. Just because someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, doesn’t mean they become their mental illness." – Lauren Bertrand
"I wish people knew that just because they don't see it, doesn't mean someone isn't struggling." – Victoria Post
"I wish people knew it’s okay not to be okay. A big part of mental illness is having bad days and there is no need to feel bad for that." – Fahey LePapillon
"I wish people educated themselves around the illnesses of the brain. Taking the time to learn about something, especially something that so many people struggle with, can be beneficial to you and those around you!" – Christina Paul
"Just because someone is constantly outwardly happy and smiling does not mean they don't have inner turmoil." – Holly Lagrou
"I wish more people would recognize the warning signs of someone who may be struggling and do something proactive to help-especially when its kids and teenagers involved." – Robyn Singer
"For me, I wish people wouldn't be so quick to judge others. Never assume people are okay. Let people open up to you, never force them to." – Sanzana Syed
No matter what your knowledge or experience with mental health, we hope that you can take today to learn something new about someone else's experience. After all, we're all just humans doing our best. From our family to yours, #BellLetsTalk, today and every day.