Y’know, it was recently mentioned on Twitter that a big corporation shouldn’t have to be using a mental health issue in order to gain positive exposure for themselves. People can talk about mental health issues on their own.
Yes, they can. The problem is that they don’t.
As someone dealing with Major Depressive Disorder and Adult ADHD, the Let’s Talk initiative by Bell here in Canada takes on a whole new meaning for me than it has in previous years. It actually MEANS something to me now.
So just what IS Bell Let’s Talk? It’s a multi-year charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. The money they pledge supports a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast focusing on anti-stigma, care and access, workplace mental health and research.
And no, Bell doesn’t have to use this social media campaign as a way to gain positive exposure as they could totally donate money to charity in private without the public knowing about it. But my response to that would be…why the heck shouldn’t they try to get positive exposure? Should all major corporations simply sit in the background and not let the world know that they’re doing good things?
And hey…Bell has committed over $100 million to mental health initiatives since 2010. How awesome is that? For one day a year, there isn’t a major stigma on having a mental health issue as it might be the rest of the year. It’s easy for me to sit back (slightly) anonymously on my laptop and write about how I’ve been dealing with my issues for the past year, but I still haven’t mentioned this to my immediate family or my friends because, quite frankly, I don’t want to be pre-judged or even ostracized from them because they have pre-conceived notions of what it all means.
The entire day reminds people that talking is the best way to start breaking down the barriers associated with mental illness. I don’t want to be shunned away from society, I want to be able to talk about what’s going on with me so that others can either recognize the symptoms within themselves or at least understand them so they don’t have to “pretend” when they’re around me or ignore me altogether.
So if you have a moment today, please use the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on Facebook and Twitter today. Bell has pledged 5 cents for every time it’s used (as of 9am this morning, there had already been over 7 million interactions online…resulting in $350,000 committed to mental health), so yes…every single tweet and Facebook post add up.
Let’s try to not let this day be the only one we use to talk about mental health issues, either. It’s too important of a topic to ignore.