Yesterday was Bell Let’s Talk Day and what an amazingly successful day it was!
Bell Let’s Talk day was founded in 2010 in an attempt to raise awareness for Mental Health in Canada. As a bell customer your calls and texts for the day will donate 5¢ to the initiative, everyone can share a specified picture using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk on Facebook, and lastly everyone can tweet using the same hashtag. Every effort will donate 5¢ each time.
This initiative is based on 4 pillars; Anti-Stigma, Care & Access, Workplace Health, and Research. In a nutshell, the goal is to recognize that mental illness is just as serious as any other ‘physical’ illness. It is not something that can be controlled by the person affected, it is not something that someone chooses to have, and it is not something that someone does to themselves; it is an imbalance in the human body that can happen to anyone at anytime. Mental illness is just as destructive as something like cancer, yet the conversation, the research and the understanding is so far behind.
If you have not been personally affected in some way I can understand it is hard to recognize the seriousness of mental illness. I had an interaction yesterday regarding this issue and I thought I would share it.
My Facebook status:
Came across a comment that a person didn’t believe “spamming” people was the best way to get the word out; referring to Bell’s initiative to raise awareness for mental illness #BellLetsTalk. Proof why this initiative is so important!!!
My response: I don’t believe this is spam. I believe it is utilizing social media for something worth while rather than selfies and judgment. There are so many people suffering silently and its time to make people aware that mental illness needs attention and treatment like any other illness. It destroys and kills just the same. If you have not been personally affected by it in some way its hard for you to grasp the importance of it and this is exactly the point of getting the word out.
Anonymous’ response: I fully agree that it’s a useful message. As many others have as well, I’ve had to deal with the issues and stigma of mental health with my own family. However, it is spam when it’s shown up at least 15 times in my newsfeed this morning, from different people. I’m almost to the point of blocking it.
My response: Not here to start a political debate. I think you have overlooked the point. With being affected personally it should be exciting that so many are sharing the word for just ONE day. Its as simple as scrolling over it but to feel the need to hide it or feel it is spam is 100% missing the point. The initiative is to break the barrier and considering it spam or wanting to hide it is building that barrier up. (My opinion and you’re entitled to yours).
Normally, I read such comments and move on, what’s the point of talking to a brick wall? I just couldn’t let this one go on such an important day. This person was totally missing the point behind Bell Let’s Talk Day and it is for this reason the day exists! We, as human beings, should feel privileged to be invited to ‘volunteer’ for such a great cause from the comfort of our couch. Literally NO effort on our part to raise awareness and funds to help others suffering in our community. This should be taken as a reminder that we are all human and we are all in a fight together whether it is against cancer or mental illness. So be human again, care for others around you, end the stigma!
- Language matters – pay attention to the words you use about mental illness
- Educate yourself – learn, know and talk more, understand the signs
- Be kind – small acts of kindness say a lot
- Listen and ask – sometimes it’s best to just listen
- Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence
Bell and its team did break the silence with #BellLetsTalk and 2015 was even more successful than last year, the initiative is working! 2014 had a final number of 109,451,718 tweets, texts, calls and shares which means Bell added another $5,472,585.90 to its Bell Let’s Talk funding commitment. Based on its original $50 million donation and the results of the last 4 Bell Let’s Talk Days, Bell has now committed more than $67.5 million to Canadian mental health.
Now add 2015 results to that! Bell saw a record 122,150,772 million tweets, texts, calls and shares on Bell Let’s Talk Day 2015. That means an additional $6,107,538.60 will be donated to mental health initiatives around Canada. Incredible work everyone!
Please check out their website http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ for additional information about this initiative, if you are Canadian and require assistance with mental health issues, or if you would like to get involved.
END THE STIGMA!
Lady Champagne xo
Note: This post is my opinion, I am not a professional, just passionate. Wherever you are, if you or someone you know needs help please don’t hesitate to go looking for it!