Stigma and Awareness, Charity and Corporations

I’m sure you know there is still stigma around the topic of mental illness and mental health. One way to combat this stigma is by raising awareness. Perhaps I’ve just been fortunate, but I’ve found that if I open up the topic – especially if I talk about my own experience with mental illness – people are willing to listen and discuss. I’ve had people divulge their own story and struggle as a result, and I think everybody benefits from that type of sharing.

So, it seems that awareness and discussion can help with the stigma. Which is why I am inclined to cast a favourable eye on Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign.

For those of you who don’t know, Bell is Canada’s largest telecommunications company. Let’s Talk is their campaign to support mental health. On Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents for every tweet with their hashtag (#BellLetsTalk), Facebook share of their Let’s Talk image, text and call from phones with their company. They encourage people to spread the word, share their stories, and raise money which goes towards programs and organizations connected to the topic of mental health.

Not everyone is as receptive (telecommunications pun unintended) to Let’s Talk. I’ve heard arguments that the event doesn’t raise much money, or that very little of the money actually goes to support the programs and organizations. This may be true, and it may not be true. I’m not about to go digging around in tax files for the truth. I don’t have the time, energy, or motivation for that. Of course, it’s not very good if that is true, but I’m choosing to focus on the awareness aspect of the campaign.

Truth is, the campaign does raise awareness. We can cue the complaints that it is only for one day of the year. Yes, it is only one day of the year. That’s still a hell of a lot better than no days of the year! We can cue the other complaints that it only does a little good, that only a portion of people open up and share their stories. That’s still a hell of a lot better than no people sharing their stories!

It’s not perfect. It’s not a cure-all for mental illness or the stigma around it. But it’s something. I’m not going to turn my nose up at that.

Disclosure and Disclaimer: I’m not a Bell customer, so they earn nothing from me, even on Let’s Talk Day. My feelings about Bell do not reflect on my opinions about Let’s Talk. This post will not raise any money for the campaign. I’m not in any way affiliated or associated with the campaign. I just wanted to throw my two cents in (and that’s less than their five cents).

If you want to learn more about the Let’s Talk campaign, you can check it out at their website: letstalk.bell.ca

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2 Comments

  1. I tend to agree with you. Even if the campaign doesn’t actually generate a lot of money, the awareness portion is still incredibly valuable.

    Reply
  2. lifeofmiblog

     /  February 8, 2015

    There’s no such thing as bad advertising. If all these people are bad mouthing it, then they are further spreading the word. Maybe if Bell did a worse campaign it would generate even more chatter…. Just a thought!

    Reply

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