It’s almost that day again! Bell Let’s Talk is tomorrow, January 25th. Each year on Bell Let’s Talk day every text, call, and social media post made with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives.
Text: If you have an iphone, make sure your imessage is turned off!
Call: Includes Bell customers
Social media: Includes Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
Snapchat: Use the Bell Let’s Talk Geofilter
The campaign started in 2010 and has raised $79.919,178.55 since that time. Money raised has went to programs such as McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, Embrace Life Council, St John’s Ambulance, Yukon Social Services, Canadian Red Cross, and many more organizations and initiatives. To find out more about where the money has went, take a peek here:
One of my favorite things about this campaign is that there are many celebrities involved. I’m a huge believer in talking about mental illness. Having celebrities involved, talking about their struggles with mental illness, allows for stigma to slowly melt away and for others to feel comfortable speaking out about their struggles as well. There is Clara Hughes, of course, as the face of the campaign. Celebs such as Howie Mandel, Michael Landsberg, and Serena Ryder are also involved.
When I was 16 I was diagnosed with Depression by a family doctor. At 21 I knew that there was something else going on. I was lucky enough to see a psychiatrist within a few months and get a proper diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and GAD. And even luckier, the medication I was prescribed worked amazingly for me. I say lucky, because I know there are many people out there who struggle to find the right combination for a long time.
It took me a long time to talk freely about my struggles. I think back to being 16. And I think about where I am now. It’s campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk that have given me confidence to speak out. The stigma was alive and real 14 years ago, at 16 years of age, terrified and embarrassed to be taking a medication every day just to give me a bit of happiness. Yes, there is still stigma. I still run into it every so often. But in my experience, there are many more people willing to speak out. There are blogs, organizations, campaigns, and people willing to fight for their own and other people’s rights.
I see things going in the right direction.