Casiah Cagan | Life
Jan. 30, 2019 is Bell Let’s Talk Day, one of the most anticipated events for Canadians as they use the power of technology to help end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Bell began to plan the initiative back in 2010, when talk about mental health was still fairly quiet.
The main goal was to simply get Canadians to begin conversations on mental health, but Bell additionally decided to donate money to mental health programs whenever Canadians talked about mental health in order to make help more accessible to Canadians who needed it.
Once Bell Let’s Talk Day was launched in 2011, suddenly millions of Canadians, from athletes to media personalities to ordinary people began to open up about their own or a loved one’s struggles with mental illness in addition to messages of support for those struggling.
When the initiative first began, Bell was only seeing about 66,079,236 interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day, but that number has multiplied to become 138,383,995 in 2018, and the amount of contributions only continues to grow.
Bell Let’s Talk states that they are built on four key pillars to promote awareness: fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting research, and leading by example in workplace health.
Nine years later, Bell Let’s Talk has been able to raise $93,423,628.80 to donate to mental health programs across the country, and they anticipate that this year’s Let’s Talk Day will break the $100 million barrier.
So, how can you get involved in Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019?
In the University of Guelph-Humber Atrium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. students can sign a poster to support mental health awareness, share a selfie and get themselves from free gear.
On the national scale, Bell will donate 5¢ to Canadian mental health initiatives every time you begin a new conversation on mental health.
If Bell is your service provider, every text message and call — local and long distance — will count towards a donation, but anyone, regardless of service provider, can tweet using the hashtag #BellLet’sTalk and use the Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat filter or Facebook frame to help contribute.
And if social media isn’t quite your thing, every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video goes towards the donation initiative.
So, what are you waiting for? Start the conversation, bring awareness to mental health, and let’s work towards a stigma-free Canada.
Featured Image from Bell Let’s Talk