Opinion BY TAMARA VON ESTORFF
#BellLetsTalk campaign is changing the face of Canada.
Canada’s national #BellLetsTalk Day will be taking place on Jan. 30. For every call, text, tweet, Instagram post or Snapchat, Bell will donate five cents to mental health services across the country.
#BellLetsTalk is a great way to encourage those who are struggling with mental illness to seek professional help and to let them know that they are not alone. Losing a loved one to suicide is never easy. It’s important that we take a stand to end the stigma and promote more awareness for mental health.
How will five cents make an impact? That’s nothing, you might say.
Mental illness in Canadians has been a problem for years, but until recently no one ever paid attention to it. Victims of mental illness are often told to just shrug it off or that they are doing it for attention, but that is not always the case. It’s only in the last decade that people have become more open to discussing it, yet the services for mental health care are still becoming more and more expensive.
So believe it or not, that extra 5 cents does make a difference. Since Sept. 2010, Bell has raised $93,423,628.80 to help Canadians get access to affordable medication and therapy services. About $3.5 million of those grants helped children and youth, $938K went to indigenous communities, and $1.6 million went to support military families.
Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians reported that they are more aware of mental health issues since the campaign began. Overall, more than 8 million people have interacted with #BellLetsTalk, including prominent Canadians such as Justin Trudeau, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain, as well as sports teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Raptors.
It’s #BellLetsTalk Day – a time to keep having important conversations about mental health, and of course raise some money too! Mental health challenges affect us all. RT this to support programs across the country. pic.twitter.com/Kqm6vL172z
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 31, 2018
Mental health affects all of us and we need to talk about it. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. There is help, so I hope that you will reach out. #BellLetsTalk – Céline xx…https://t.co/9FyFadfAiI
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) January 31, 2018
Mental health is important all year round and as today is #BellLetsTalk Day, let’s take this opportunity to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness and support mental health initiatives.
— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) January 31, 2018
Every little bit counts. Whether it’s a text, a phone call, a tweet, a video, or a photo, one person’s actions can make a huge difference. With 2019’s #BellLetsTalk, we want people to know that there is hope for better mental health. This month on Jan. 30, remember to take out your phones and send a tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. Help change someone’s life today.
For more information on donations, you can visit the Bell Let’s Talk website and apply to join the Community Fund.