Author: Karen Copeland

January 28, 2015 is #BellLetsTalk day.

This is the day that Bell will tally all the tweets, texts, phone calls and facebook image shares and come up with a large dollar amount which they will then disperse to worthy non-profit organizations and charities who are working hard to make a difference for people who experience mental health challenges. It is a day that generates much needed awareness about the realities of life with a mental health challenge, encouraging people to be more understanding and curious. Inspiring people to care. I thought I would post my #BellLetsTalk thoughts here. Feel free to copy and paste onto twitter or facebook!

#BellLetsTalk about the lack of coordinated services for child and youth #mentalhealth across this country that says it cares about kids.

#BellLetsTalk about how when we don’t see something improve right away we think nothing’s happening. Change IS coming. Don’t be discouraged.

#BellLetsTalk about anxiety creating a fight, flight or freeze response. Please don’t forget about “fight”! Too many kids judged behavioral.

#BellLetsTalk about how #mentalhealth impacts everyone in the family, not just the individual. Honor and support the family too!

#BellLetsTalk and celebrate the resiliency and courage of individuals and their support systems.

#BellLetsTalk about how #mentalhealth is everybody’s business and simply cannot be ignored any longer.

#BellLetsTalk about access to child psychiatry services. Would people sit quietly if it took that long to access a pediatric oncologist?

#BellLetsTalk about how families with kids who have #mentalhealth challenges receive little to no support.

#BellLetsTalk about how a family can encounter multiple barriers when trying to access services #waitlists #dontmeetmandate

#BellLetsTalk about the family that might have over 20 different service access points but still don’t get the support they need.

#BellLetsTalk about how we wouldn’t say someone with epilepsy chooses to have a seizure. And yet we say kids “choose” to be impulsive #adhd

#BellLetsTalk about schools that are not designed to support learners who have internalizing disorders. Where is their safe space? Hallway??

As adults, we have the ability to be flexible. So why do we dig our heels in when a child is stuck? Let’s do better!

If a child is stuck and shut down, try asking them about their interests, what they love to do

If you felt like a failure at work every day, would you still go?

Would love to have some stats on how many families who have children w/ challenges are opting out of public ed!

and are they really opting out? or are they being forced out due to lack of support and understanding

As adults, we need to reflect & acknowledge how our own behavior can either calm a child or escalate a child

Yes!! “School Culture and Mental Health | The Principal of Change

Parent of a child with a challenge? Want 2 connect w/ other parents? Join our closed discussion group:

when we assign judgement to a persons behavior without being curious, we are making it about us, not the individual

Families are leaving the system b/c their kids are not getting support they need!

Looking for resources relating to ? I regularly add to this one:

So thankful for my on this journey!

. Let’s talk about lack of coordinated care 4 children who have challenges & their families, can we??

I didn’t start out as a good advocate for my child, but I sure learned how to be “that” parent!

Guest Post: Just ASK!

It’s time for systems to ASK families what kind of support is needed instead of assuming they already know

People who don’t know our journey often assume we are doing nothing b/c don’t see any change – but it’s there! Don’t judge!

I feel like my life has been an unending maze for the last six years, trying to navigate services for my son.

If we took a preventative approach, put REAL supports in place for families when child is younger, would we make a difference?

Where is the respite for families who have children who have complex challenges?? 

You would be astounded to know how much I had to advocate to get a referral to see a psychiatrist for my child.

What options does your school have for kids with internalizing disorders? Where is their “safe place”?

Children experience depresssion and suicidal ideation too. Please don’t dismiss or deny it. Learn more from

Our family has over 20 different professional access points/interventions. Want to know what worked best? !

Positive, supportive relationships are a crucial component to any therapeutic technique

Whether a child’s behavior is “willful and manipulative” or “asking for help” depends on the judgement we, as adults assign

How many parents have taken their child to ER for concerns only 2 be told it’s b/c of their parenting?

While classes & access 2 are helpful, what I’d really like is and for our family!

We were bounced from system to system trying to get access to psychiatric care. TY for stepping up 3 yrs ago.

, please take time 2 learn about the child & youth resources in your community. You might save a life!

I believe in #BellLetsTalk day, I really truly do. It is a day where people actually talk about the complexities and realities of mental health in a very real and authentic way. A day where stigma gets pushed aside and people are celebrated for their resiliency and courage. But don’t let it stop there. We need to continue talking and continue engaging youth and families to create the services and supports that they need, not the ones the systems think they do. That is my challenge to you. Every day should be a #BellLetsTalk day.

Find Champions for Community Mental Wellness on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/championsformentalwellness




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