In 2002, there was a government inquiry into eating disorders amongst Canadians; it found that 1.5 per cent of Canadians had one. Which is part of the reason the video above is so powerful: Though it tells the story of one, it’s the story of many.
Harriet’s struggle began at age five. Five. That’s when she learned what a calorie was.
By age nine, she had become so consumed with her weight, she stopped eating breakfast and only drank diet shakes.
By her freshman year, she was restricting, purging and counting calories to the point of hospitalization.
Now 17, she’s been through countless recovery centres and released, not because she was well, but because she figured out how to fake that she was okay.
But there’s one thing that keeps her fighting: She wants to be here. She knows now that she is strong enough to get better and beautiful enough without the battle. And she wants everyone else going through similar struggles to know that they, too, are strong and they, too, are beautiful.
And honestly? We think that’s beautiful. Watch the video above to hear more about Harriet’s journey, in her own words.
It’s time we started talking openly about our mental health. Join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 27, and help end the stigma around mental illness. For every text message sent and mobile or long-distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs. The same goes for anyone sending a tweet using #BellLetsTalk or sharing the Bell Let’s Talk image on Facebook. But talking about it is just the first step: Visit letstalk.bell.ca for more ways you can effect change and build awareness around mental health.