Today is Bell Let’s Talk day, a corporate initiative from the Canadian telecommunications company to talk about mental illness. I worked at Bell and faced the same issues they’re trying to shed light on.
The multimedia campaign features celebrities like Olympian Clara Hughes and comedian Mary Walsh, with photos and videos of them tweeting, texting, and talking about their own experiences with mental illness. Bell has pledged to make a five-cent donation through each use of their hashtag, share of the Facebook image about the campaign and any text message, mobile or long distance call made by Bell customers on January 27.
Advertisements, billboards and commercials feature quotes like, “If we cared about our mental health like we cared about our dental health, we would be okay,” from Howie Mandel, the actor, game show host and creator of the beloved children’s show Bobby’s World. Broadcaster Michael Landsberg, who has spoken extensively about mental illness, is quoted as saying, “We should avoid using any language that makes people feel a little bit weaker. It keeps them from getting the help they need.”
I worked at Bell, in their media division. I needed help after working there. The terms of my job meant I was lucky I was able to access it at all.