With the recent Bell Let’s Talk initiative, I thought it was important for me to write my first blog post about financial stress and mental illness.
First off, it is so important to provide a platform for those dealing with any type of mental illness and to end the existing stigma that is associated with mental illness. We need to be there for each other and support one another so that nobody faces a mental illness alone.
The entire Bell Let’s Talk campaign has got me thinking a lot about what might cause mental illness and some of the struggles faced by students with mental illness. A big part of the reason that I started GrantMe is because many students are faced with high levels of financial stress. Studies show that students leaving post-secondary school with huge amounts of student debt are likely to have poor mental health upon graduation. Similarly, first year students coming into university who face financial stress among the many other stresses of university, are also more likely to face mental health issues throughout university.
Although many universities have attempted to solve these problems by giving access to resources for mental health, it is equally important that students are equipped with the financial education required to make the university experience less stressful. This is where I believe there is room for improvement. Many resources and tools are available to students in order to help them pay for school, but they are difficult to navigate and are often not directly promoted by the university.
Many students faced with a high degree of financial stress are suffering silently. Nobody wants to tell there friends that they are struggling to eat and pay rent because they are scared of what others might think about them. That sort of stigma is why many students aren’t able to get the required help they need. I can’t reiterate enough the importance of speaking up and supporting one another on all mental health issues. Although Bell Let’s Talk is a one-day initiative, the conversation around mental health is not.
I encourage everyone to take an active role in asking your friends, family, coworkers and even a stranger how they are doing. It seems so simple, but it could be saving a life. Lastly, if anyone is facing financial stress, or any other type of stress for that matter, I AM HERE FOR YOU, TO LISTEN AND HELP. So no matter what you are facing, always feel free to reach out to me.