PENETANGUISHENE -- The Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care was full of health care experts Wednesday, for Bell Let’s Talk.

“We are lucky to have a place like Waypoint with the research going on here and all of the programs,” said Jason McCoy from Pure Country 106

Waypoint is our region's specialty mental health hospital, and breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness is a top priority here.

“We know that about half of Canadians would share a story about a family member having a mental illness, where about three quarters of Canadians would share a story about a family member with cancer so there is a gap there,” Waypoint CEO and president Carol Lambie said.

That gap can create a barrier for someone who might need help, but talking about it can be a step in the right direction.

“A family doctor, a local emergency even family friends a nurse practitioner can help. Dont be afraid to have that conversation to talk about mental health because it's your wellbeing and it's very important. People do care, and we really want to help and support you during difficult times,” Manager of patient client flow, Dike Onuoha said.

Youth can be especially vulnerable to mental health challenges. Talking to peers who have been there can help.

“The first priority would be to let them know they are not alone as it can be quite lonely when you're struggling,” Peer support worker, Amber Scott said.