Keeping these things in mind, Bell Let’s Talk Day is celebrated every year on 30th January. The day found its origins in 2011; it was initiated by Canadian telecom company Bell Canada as part of its Let’s Talk initiative. It is the company’s annual fundraiser about mental health issues and eliminating the stigma around it.
However, for those of us who encountered it for the first time on Twitter or Instagram under #BellLetsTalk, at first glance it may have seemed like spam, the hashtag and accompanying tweets and posts are all for a good cause, raising money and awareness for mental health.
It usually takes place during the last week of January or early February.
Bell pledges to donate 5 cents (CAD) to Canadian mental health programs for every call made by its customers and every text sent by its wireless customers towards supporting the cause. The company donates 5 cents for every tweet and retweet sent using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, taking the campaign globally. The company is also giving money for views of Let’s Talk videos on its Facebook and Instagram pages and for those sent using its Snapchat filter.
Mary Deacon, the chair of Bell’s Let’s Talk, stated, “Mental health is a serious, pervasive, underfunded, highly stigmatized yet very common health issue nobody wanted to talk about. Much like many other health issues, it was time to put this in the spotlight and give it the kind of attention and profile it deserves.”
Bell expects this year’s total funding commitment to top $100 million this year, as the messages of support to surpass 1 billion.
Here is an official list of the ways that the public can help raise money and awareness for mental health as shared by Bell Canada:
Talk: Mobile calls and every long distance call placed by Bell wireless and phone customers
Text: Every text message by Bell wireless customers
Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji and Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
Facebook: Every viewing of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video and using of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video viewing
Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
While the cause and the campaign are both legit, several spam accounts have also come up. Bell requested the customers and the others involved to report such accounts and not fall for such scams.
Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.