Bell Let’s Talk Day happens Jan 28th this year, and as always will be off the hook
Bell Let’s Talk is a national mental health campaign in Canada created by telecom corp Bell to raise money and awareness for mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
It’s a one day campaign where Bell Canada donates 5 cents per communication (text, hashtag, RT, etc..) related to the convo.
It’s reach is big and growing bigger. Last year there were over 100,000,000 communications counted, resulting in over $5 million in additional funding for mental health initiatives in Canada.
And that’s what makes it a double whammy… not only is massive awareness raised ON Bell Let’s Talk Day, but the money raised gets spread across the year as grants to mental health organizations large and small to magnify the impact exponentially.
And from my personal perspective, it’s working.
When I first got involved in promoting mental health in 2007, sharing my story a few months after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, it was difficult to find any youth to collaborate with.
To my knowledge, the mental health student club we started on campus (SFU) a year later was the first of its kind and pulling people to events was like pulling teeth.
Asking people to open up about their stories publicly was just as difficult.
When 3 of us decided to share our stories on YouTube, it made it into the news. We were featured on Global TV and the Georgia Straight (article here).
Opening up about your mental health challenges wouldn’t earn you a spot in the news these days, and that’s a good thing.
So many youth groups in BC (SpeakBOX, UBC Mental Health Awareness Club, Here and Now Youth Foundation, Kelty Youth Ambassadors, Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses, and my new program The EDGE) and across Canada (Wear Your Label, COPE Student Club) have popped up in the last 5 years because young people today are more empowered than ever and infrastructure for supporting and encouraging youth involvement has increased.
The combined efforts stem from decades of hard work from pioneers like Keli Anderson (Founder of The FORCE and the Institute of Families), Michael Schradder (creator of Ride Don’t Hide), Victoria Maxwell (comedian and speaker with lived experience) and many more incredibly persistent and dedicate people.
But the emergence of youth leaders is a recent evolution and it offers a new energy and enthusiasm into the world of mental health we won’t fully realize the value of for a few more years.
Check out my next post where I’ll share two big ideas to make the most of this new opportunity.
For now, I encourage you to check out the Bell Let’s Talk page for how you can get involved Jan 28th and make an impact in your community.
Leave a comment below and share what you plan to do this year for Bell Let’s Talk Day!! I’ll read and reply to each one!!
PS..f you found this helpful and informative, please help others reach this information by hitting one of the like or share buttons below.
Talking about mental health made such a difference in my quality of life. It literally lifted the most massive weight off my shoulders and provided me with the safety and security to build a strong support team, that’s why I’m so passionate about getting the word out there, so I really appreciate you helping me do so 😀
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Thanks for being awesome!!