On January 28, Bell Canada will launch their fifth annual Let’s Talk campaign. Using social media as its focus, the Let’s Talk campaign has been classified as a “virtual event,” where Canadians can text, tweet, call or share campaign specific content in order to raise money and awareness for mental health and mental health related issues. For every campaign related text, tweet, call or share that is made on January 28, Bell Canada has pledged to donate $0.05.
Bell Canada aims to legitimize mental illness
Bell Canada created this campaign back in 2011 to help bring awareness to mental illness, an illness that many Canadians suffer from in secret. Historically, mental illness is not something that garners much attention from the media nor is it something that is openly discussed in daily conversation. By initiating an open dialogue between social media users, the campaign’s goal is to legitimize the problems caused by mental illness and assist in helping Canadians eliminate the stigma that surrounds it. Bell has made it very simple for the average Canadian to make a difference. Due to the fact that Let’s Talk is a virtual event, there are no geographical restrictions put on the individual; everyone can contribute. As long as the individual has access to social media, participation in the event can be as simple as the push of a button.
How the Let’s Talk virtual events generated real change
The Let’s Talk campaign created by Bell Canada is a perfect example of how social media can be used to create positive change right here in Canada. The pushing of a button on a smartphone may seem like an insignificant act, however, over the last five years the participation from thousands of Canadians in the Let’s Talk campaign has generated real change. From all of the texts, tweets calls and shares that have been made in relation to the Let’s Talk campaign, Bell has committed $67.5 million for mental health initiatives, including the support of hundreds of mental health initiatives located in Canada. This means that more tools are being made available for the treatment of mental illness and more money can be put towards mental illness research. That being said, support is not yet close to where it should be. According to the Let’s Talk website, “only one-third of those who need mental health-related service in Canada will receive treatment.” So, on January 28, pick up your phone and text, tweet, call or share in support of Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign.