It’s Bell Let’s Talk day, and today thousands of Canadians are speaking up to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Bell Media invites the public to join the dialogue alongside the team of devoted Bell Let’s Talk’s spokespeople helping to drive the conversation in a positive direction.
New to the Bell Let’s Talk team this year is Canadian singer-songwriter, Serena Ryder. Ryder has been on the music scene in Toronto since 1999, and the public has watched her grow into the successful artist she is today, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t met her challenges along the way.
Follow Serena Ryder’s journey to becoming a Bell Let’s Talk Spokesperson below, and don’t forget, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives for each text, tweet and Facebook share that uses the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.
2012 – Serena Ryder opens up about depression
In 2012, Serena Ryder opened up to Chatelaine Magazine about her battle with depression, “I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want to experience those emotions — or the lack of emotions — anymore. I didn’t want to see the world the way I saw it, and I thought the only way to get rid of that was to not live.” Ryder’s feelings of depression began at the age of 13, but it was around age 26 that she was able to find a therapist right for her, “She helped me figure out that I wasn’t depressed: I had depression. That was really huge because depression is a disease that happens to you, it’s not who you are.”
2012 – Makes musical comeback
After taking a break from music and focusing on personal health, Ryder made a musical comeback with the release of Stompa, the lead single of her sixth studio album, Harmony. The success of the release opened doors, and Ryder quickly became a rising star of Canadian music.
2013 – Performs at WE Day Toronto
WE Day is an annual youth empowered event designed to support youth in their journey to helping raise funds and awareness in support of those in need, including those living with mental illness. Artists are invited to participate in the events as performers, and motivational speakers. Serena Ryder teased an early interest in being a spokesperson for a good cause when she performed her hit, What I Wouldn’t Do, at the 2013 Toronto WE Day event.
2014 – Co-hosts the Juno Awards
Serena Ryder has stood on many stages, but standing on the JUNO stage to host Canada’s biggest award show is an entirely different ball game. Being a spokesperson tends to involve a lot of public speaking, and Ryder’s successful takeover at the 2014 JUNO Awards proves she’s more than ready for the job.
2016 – Signs on as Bell Let’s Talk Day spokesperson
It’s important to have a dynamic group of spokespeople representing the Bell Let’s Talk Team. Serena Ryder’s past charity work, her experience with public speaking, and her understanding of mental illness makes her an excellent addition to the Bell Let’s Talk Day team.