Yesterday was #bellletstalk day – for those who are not in Canada, it is a day that the major telephone provider encourages people to talk about mental health, and donates money (e.g. 5 cents per tweet or text) to mental health charities. It has been criticized here by Torquil Campbell as purely a marketing stunt and compared to Pink ribbon campaigns for cancer.
Here is the thing. It is different. Yes, it is still cause marketing, but the big difference is that it actually promotes awareness! Unlike many pink ribbon campaigns that are intended to indicate that you support a cause but really just help sell product, they often provide no education about breast cancer – they are not raising awareness, they are selling products. They teach nothing. On the other hand, Bell let’s talk has caused many different bloggers to talk about mental health – and to tweet out their links. These bloggers are actively providing the public with information about mental health – perhaps the Huffington Post should look at promoting some of THOSE tweets / posts!
In my world, I’m seeing what appears to be an interesting ripple effect, such that for the last two weeks many different people (many not Canadian) have been talking about mental health issues on their blogs – this my simply be coincidence – but I find it a particularly interesting correlation.
So, I must respectfully disagree with Torquil Campbell – Bell Let’s Talk day is actually encouraging people to talk about mental health, and that’s a good thing!