Health Student Jordan Rodbell on “Let’s Talk Day”

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( — February 29, 2016) Huntington Beach, ca — Let’s Talk is an annual event in Canadadesigned to support mental health. It has been going on since 2010. A multi-year charitable program, Let’s Talk aims to break the silence surrounding mental illness. Here, individuals talk about their mental health issues in an attempt to help people recognize that they are not alone. Jordan Rodbell, a Health Policy & Management student, expresses how the campaign affects the stigma against mental illnesses.

The silence around mental illness is promoting stigma against it. “Everybody’s afraid to say anything,” said Heather Stuart, chairperson of the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research at Queen’s University. “There’s this cloak of secrecy. I think it’s been successful because it just broke through that bubble and said, ‘We’re gonna talk about this, and it’s OK to do it.’”

For every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell donates money to mental health initiatives. While this does raise money for mental health initiatives, it sometimes becomes counterproductive, since the tweets of people who have something real to share about mental illnesses get lost due to the high number of people tweeting using the hashtag.

The campaign has definitely shown some positive results, however. According to Camille Quenneville, CEO of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Let’s Talk has “encouraged people to be more aware and in many cases to volunteer to want to do something about this.”

Danielle Laundry, a part-time instructor with the School of Disability Studies, has a different view on the campaign. “Let’s stop positioning disabled people as charity cases through a-nickel-for-every-text campaigns,” writes Danielle Landry.

According to her, campaigns like Let’s Talk only reinforce the idea that it’s unsafe for people to talk about mental illnesses. Additionally, it only focuses on white, middle class people and Hollywood personalities.

Talking about it is a start, but some action is necessary for change to occur. Although one in five people in Canada suffers from mental illnesses, many of the mental health initiatives are either underfunded, or not at all funded. Politicians always say the right things about mental health, but not much is done about it.

Rodbell recognizes the seriousness of mental health issues in the United States, and agrees with Heather Stuart that the issue should not be silenced. He hopes to not only give the voice to those who have been silenced, but to create positive programs to assist them in his future career work. Read more about Jordan:

About J. Rodbell

Jordan Rodbell is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Public Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy & Management with a special concentration in Mental Health. His primary career goal following the completion of his Master’s is to play a key role within a health industry-based institution, whether a corporation or NGO, that works toward the betterment of public health.

J. Rodbell

16400 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, ca 92834
United States