Talking About Mental Health 

 

 

Why Talk2Me Exists.

The concept of Talk2MeBC was born about two years ago now. The impetus for Talk2MeBC was actually conversations I would have on the steps of the art museum. I used to like going there for lunch; there’s no shortage of fascinating people to talk to there. And what I was struck by was that, although we live in a very private culture, on any individual level people love to talk to one another. And so you sit down next to somebody on the steps of the art museum and you say, “Hey. What do you do?” Or, “Where are you from?” And nine times out of ten people love talking. Or you get on an airplane, sit next to somebody, and they’ll usually happily, engage you in conversation. Usually not initiate it, but happily engage you.

It was that piece combined with what I observed as a clinician, which was that whether I’m working with a West Vancouver lawyer, or a Downtown Eastside binner, almost without exception the people I see are chronically lonely and isolated. So you have this fascinating combination of one of the densest urban populations in North America, chronically isolated, lonely people, who jump at the opportunity to talk to somebody. It’s a fascinating dynamic we have going on. Now, the idea for Talk2Me really came out of the notion that there’s an inherent value in connecting people. Whether that means connecting to your neighbour, to your barista, or connecting somebody with a counsellor or a therapist.

Officially, the goal behind Talk2Me is that working with a counsellor or therapist can be extremely important — if not essential — for a lot of people, and we want to connect them with one. Because unfortunately there are still significant barriers that get in the way of people actually doing so. A lot of those barriers include things like stigmatism, lack of education, or a really piss-poor job on the part of my industry to reach out to people. What we’re trying to do is create a safe, friendly platform that allows people —  with a certain degree of confidence — to get hooked up with somebody that they’re likely to have a good connection with. [Also important is] recognizing that those variables that facilitate connection go well beyond what initials come after somebody’s name, but go to things like their age, their gender, their sexual orientation, their religious beliefs, all those things.

I have often had the conversation with people where they say, “You know, I first decided to see a counsellor five years ago, [had] a terrible experience, dropped 150 bucks, haven’t been back since.” That decision to actually reach out and ask for help is so difficult, that to have it fall flat because it wasn’t the right person is such a huge missed opportunity. (Originally from an interview with CaptureQueue.com)

Thanks for checking us out.

Graeme 

Founder, Talk2Me BC