Clara Hughes is a storied and decorated Olympian, winning a total of six medals between both summer and winter olympics. A cyclist by chance and a speed skater by choice, Hughes has been open about the significant challenges she faced as a teenager and as a young adult athlete battling a rough home life and her own battle with mental illness.
Through her ongoing fight, Hughes has worked hard to raise awareness of just how common mental illness is (personally affecting 1 and 5 Canadians, and 5 in 5 Canadian families). Several years ago she approached Bell, the communications and media giant, about becoming an ambassador for mental wellness and the company’s #BellLetsTalk campaign. (Side note: the BellLet’sTalk day raised over $6.5 million this year alone)
Hughes was the keynote banquet speaker at this year’s FarmTech conference, and graciously sat down with our own Lyndsey Smith to talk about the importance of caring for our mental health, encouraging those struggle to speak up, and, most importantly, reminding everyone about the very real value of simply listening: