Check out Bell's "Let's Talk" Campaign!
I want to call your attention to something that I think is really amazing – Bell’s “Let’s Talk” campaign, culminating on February 9th. In Canada and around the world, support for mental health often lags behind other physical health problems due to stigma. Case in point: just half of Canadians would tell a friend if they were diagnosed with a mental illness, compared to 72% for a cancer diagnosis.
Now, Bell Canada is showing leadership by teaming up with summer and winter Olympic medalist Clara Hughes to start a discussion about mental health in Canada. According to Clara Hughes, “it is not by accident that high performance athletes depend on physiologists and psychologists”. Some of you may have seen the accompanying television commercials in which Clara talks about some of her own experiences with depression. She points out that Olympic athletes, and the rest of us, deal with both physical and mental health challenges, and that to perform at our best, we need to care for our bodies and minds. She emphasizes that when someone is dealing with mental illness, they should not have to keep it a secret and be denied the help they need; which means that we need a society that recognizes that seeing a psychologist is a healthy part of maintaining our overall health.
I applaud Clara Hughes for having the courage to use her own experiences to advocate for greater awareness of mental health issues in Canada. I also applaud Bell for showing the corporate leadership to tackle an issue that other companies have neglected. On February 9th, Bell will be donating 5 cents to mental health programs for each long distance call or text message made on the Bell network in Canada– and that is just one part of a multi-year campaign that involves donations to research and tele-mental health for remote communities.
As great as other phone advertisements and promotions may be, this is one marketing campaign that just might make me think about switching phone companies. And if you already are a Bell customer, be sure to call a friend on February 9th!
About the Author
Mike Mandrusiak, Psy.D., R.Psych.
Mike is a Registered Psychologist practicing in Vancouver, BC. His clinical practice focuses on the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. He is a member of BCPA, and the co-chair of the Community Engagement Committee.