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Talking about Bell Let's Talk

By Alyssa Williams

The entire country rallies around the Bell Let’s Talk campaign each year to raise awareness about mental health.

The Bell Let’s Talk campaign started in September 2010 to grow the nationwide discussion on mental health and to break down the stigma associated with it. According to a report on mental illness in Canada in 2002, about 20% of individuals during their lifespan will experience a mental illness, and approximately 80% of persons may be affected by mental illness in relatives, peers or co-workers1. The Bell Let’s Talk initiative has built their campaign to promote awareness on four pillars: fighting the stigma, improving access to care, investing in research and creating a workplace that considers the mental health of its members.

Mental Health

Mental health is very different from physical health, in that the manifestation of the illness may not always be seen to the eye. It is not as obvious as a broken limb, but mental illness still affects the lives of those living with it and the individuals who know people who have it. Raising awareness about mental health makes the topic more possible for discussion. It lets people know that they are not alone, that there are resources that can help and that someone believes them. The task of tackling mental health and promoting awareness may seem daunting; however, simple acts of kindness and attentiveness can make a large difference. Listening, caring and talking are small, yet powerful acts that can make a big impact in the life of someone who deals with mental illness.

At the university

Before Bell Let’s Talk

In the days leading up to the big day on January 30, there were events throughout the university to promote mental health awareness and to break down the stigma. Most notably, the Ridgebacks hosted their third annual Bell Let’s Talk games on Sunday, January 20 at the Campus Ice Centre.Bell Let's Talk Photo booth

Bell Let’s Talk Day

On January 30, Bell Let’s Talk Day, the Student Mental Health Advisory Committee will be hosting booths in the Science Building (UA), West Atrium (North) and on the first floor of 61 Charles Street Building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to increase the conversation of mental health amongst all university community members. Students, staff and visitors are encouraged to visit the booth, write messages and learn more about the resources that are available for mental health support. 

All around Canada

On January 30, simple social interactions can be used to make a difference and promote mental health awareness2:

For every mobile and long distance call and text sent by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives.

  • On Twitter, for every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and every view of the Bell Let’s Talk video, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives.
  • On Instagram, for every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives.
  • On Facebook, for every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video or use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives.
  • On Snapchat, for every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video or use of the of the Bell Let’s Talk filter for snaps, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives.

To learn more about the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, visit bell.ca/letstalk.

Sources:

  1. Health Canada. A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada. Ottawa, Canada 2002
  2. Our initiatives. (2019). Retrieved from https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ways-to-help

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