By now, most of us have heard of #BellLetsTalk and have strong opinions about the advocacy being attached to such a large company as Bell. I’ve been following #BellLetsTalk since the beginning and I’ve been lucky enough to go to events, speak, and advocate alongside some great companies during this time of year. However, I have seen and heard some major issues people have been worrying about such as where does the money go? Is this just a marketing scam? Is Bell benefiting off peoples disorders/illnesses? I really want to take the time to educate and inform you about the realities of #BellLetsTalk. All information in this blog post is available via the Bell Let’s Talk website.
Where does the money go?
Now, I was going to make a gallery with all of the charities who benefit from Bell Let’s Talk Day but there are simply too many and it would take me all day…SO I have provided a link to the Bell Let’s Talk website where you can see EVERY charity benefiting. I’ve also included a gallery with some screenshots of the page.
#BellLetsTalk raises millions of dollars in simply a day for mental health but where does that money go and who is benefitting from it? Bell Let’s Talk has a program where registered charities can apply to be funded by the money raised by the campaign. You can apply for the community
Is it just a marketing scam?
I’m not comfortable with a definitive answer for this question because we all know that the business world is simply politics and has actions going on behind the scenes that sometimes never get out. However, even if #BellLetsTalk is a marketing scheme it opens the doors for millions of people to share their mental health stories and journeys…which is a good thing. Mental health is something that’s not talked about openly in the workplace, school, or even between friends. So when a platform like #BellLetsTalk opens up it opens the door to opportunities for people with mental health problems to speak up without being judged, because let’s be real…if you never spoke of your mental health struggles but then one day posted about them, many people (depending on your network) would instantly think you were looking for attention or simply ignore the post. But #BellLetsTalk opens a sort of door that allows people to speak without being judged. The real work for advocates all around the world is to make everyday have these open doors like #BellLetsTalk. The one thing I do want to point out which can be problematic of #BellLetsTalk is the use of celebrities via their mental health stories. Many people have much more inspiring stories but are left in the dust because they do not have a following.
is bell benefitting off peoples mental health issues/mental illness?
Bell is benefitting in some way off of mental health issues but I personally don’t know anyone who has changed their service provider because of the day of action. I did some research to see if Bell keeps any of the money raised; I couldn’t find any advertisement that said “100% of funds are donated…” which usually means they retain some of the money; be it to pay for the campaign itself or for other reasons, however, I did not find any definitive research. Again, I believe that #BellLetsTalk is more about opening doors as to opening the conversation via mental health than the actual money that is raised. I don’t think it is fair for society to blame Bell for using their platform to open a conversation (even if it is towards their own profit) because it goes back to why we advocate at all…to end the stigma. By putting a bad outlook on #BellLetsTalk or telling people or yourself to not participate in the day of action shows that the stigma against mental health is still real and relevant in todays society. I believe if you don’t believe in the day of action, don’t use the hashtag but you should absolutely continue to advocate on this day because it opens the platform to thousands of people who never think of mental health at all. We must never stop advocating.