Laureen Harper visits Ottawa Youth Services Bureau
Published Monday, February 11, 2013 4:00PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2013 5:04PM EST
It's not every day you get to meet the Prime Minister's wife.
Lucky for Corey Illings, he and Laureen Harper share a common dream to end the stigma of mental illness.
The 20-year-old client of Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau only learned last year that he has borderline personality disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“They were able to help me get what I needed so I could help myself,” says Illings.
The Youth Services Bureau helped Illings assess the necessary medical services and support groups.
Mrs. Harper took a tour of the bureau’s downtown drop-in centre.
“You don't have to hide it anymore,” says Mrs. Harper of mental health issues.
“They can come here and get the help they need. And we just need to get the message out.”
That message is the focus of Bell Let’s Talk day on February 12th.
The nationwide fundraising campaign will donate five cents of every text message and long distance call made by bell customers.
Tweeting using #BellLetsTalk and Facebook shares of the Let’s Talk message also leads to donations.
The money will help fund local mental health initiatives across the country.
Mrs. Harper, who has taken a unique role in the community, has also served as honorary chair of the Bell Kaleidoscope of Hope Gala. $60-thousand was raised for services here in Ottawa.
Sharing a common goal with Mrs. Harper gives Illings hope for other people living with mental health issues.
“There's always a stigma to every single diagnosis. So if we were able to just wipe all of those stigmas away and say okay, everyone's the same,” he says.
With a report from CTV’s John Hua
Laureen Harper wears the official bracelet in support of Bell Let's Talk day.