Week 2 Secondary Post: Bell Let’s Talk

I like the idea behind Bell Let’s Talk and everything that the day stands for. I completely support ending the stigma surrounding mental health. And I have to commend Bell for all they’ve done, all they are currently doing, and all the company will do in the future.

What I don’t like is that it’s easy to forget about mental health every other day of the year, especially if you aren’t directly affected by it. It’s easy to perpetuate the stereotypes, to prolong the stigma.

That’s because it’s not as easy to be aware, to be understanding, and to be helpful.

I think people need to pay more attention to their word choice. Words have power. More power than we think.

What bothers me is despite all the time I’ve spent in school, I don’t feel like I was properly educated about mental health. I don’t know the facts. I don’t know the statistics. I don’t know the numbers. But I know it’s real, I know it exists. Most importantly, I know a lot more can be done to help those suffering from mental illness.

This isn’t anyone’s fault.

But this is something everyone needs to help solve.

While the initiative is not new, it hasn’t been around for that long either. Today marks the sixth Bell Let’s Talk. It happens one day a year, which begs the question, what about the other three hundred and sixty-four days? Or since 2016 is a leap year, what about the other three hundred and sixty-five days?

Fortunately, for every tweet with #BellLetsTalk, for every text or call made by a Bell customer, the company donates 5 cents in support of mental health initiatives. Unfortunately, the donations stop after twenty four hours. And while I realize that they can’t possibly donate 5 cents for every tweet, text, etc., all year round, I hope we—as a society—are willing to do our part in raising awareness and generating change every second of every day.

I love that Bell Let’s Talk starts the conversation. All I ask is that we continue the conversation long after today is over.

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14 thoughts on “Week 2 Secondary Post: Bell Let’s Talk

  1. I love that Bell uses their power and resources to get people thinking and talking about mental health. I completely agree with you, that the education system does not put any kind of focus or importance on mental health, which leaves young people to educate themselves through personal experience or the experiences of others. I think mental health should be discussed in every day life, as it has such a huge impact on so many people in our society. I think it’s really great that you’re interested in the topic although it doesn’t effect you personally, and I think that it’s important for others to have that same interest in ending the everyday stigma.

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    1. I’m glad they are doing what they can to raise awareness. It’s great to see individuals contribute to the conversation, but more importantly, the conversation needs to be meaningful. There should be more education on mental health with a greater emphasis on its importance in all areas. I think it’s wrong to make assumptions and jump to conclusions based on stigma or stereotypes. Most of the time, we don’t know what people have gone through and even what they are going through currently.

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  2. I completely agree with what you are saying about Bell and how we should always be thinking about mental health awareness. I guess the reason it just doesn’t get talked about as much as we’d like is because of the Pandora’s box of other issues around us. Like cancer awareness day, black history month, world diabetes day, etc. I want to be able to care about all the problems we face in our world and have open discussions about then all constantly, I guess it can just feel overwhelming and hard to fit into our everyday lives.

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    1. I hear you. I want to care about all the problems in the world too. But I think it’s not fair to spread yourself too thin trying to do everything for every cause. It isn’t fair to you, it isn’t fair to the cause, and it isn’t fair to everyone else.

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  3. It’s great that Bell’s campaign has raised so much for support initiatives (over $100 million since 2011). On top of that, I’ve seen many people use the opportunity to address important issues that are normally quite hard to talk about. Still, it’s unfortunate that only large corporations, and not social institutions, have the budget to run such an effective program. It’s unfortunate because, no matter the message, these kinds of campaigns are always about marketing as well. The question is to what degree.

    Related article: http://torontoist.com/2016/01/bell-lets-talk-mental-health-corporatization/

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    1. You raise a good point. I think there are individuals or groups who want to implement mental health initiatives but don’t have the financial resources to do so. That’s true. It’s good publicity.

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  4. You say in your post that at least you know that mental illnesses exist — however a lot of people, in older generations but also people our age who should really be open and aware, simply deny the existence of mental illnesses. I recently wrote a post called “Why Keep Mental Disabilities a Secret?” summarizing (albeit somewhat scathingly) an article about mental illnesses and the appropriate university accommodations the mentally disabled should receive. The article is just another piece of evidence that people are ignorant, even when they think they are well educated on the subject.

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    1. You have a good point. I think some people genuinely don’t know much about mental illness, yet others simply deny it exists so they don’t have to deal with the implications.

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