So today was Bell’s Let’s Talk day. For those of you who might not be from around here, or just somehow missed all the commercials and media coverage for it, Let’s Talk is an initiative brought about by a large telecommunications company (Bell). The main goal is to raise awareness for mental health issues, but the secondary goal is to give the company ridiculous amounts of free marketing (obviously it worked, since I’ve just mentioned it too, and possibly invited a whole new audience).
Now, I understand it’s a large corporation, and their motives are likely less altruistic than they’d have us believe. But let’s set that aside for a moment. Every corporation is like that, and there’s very little we can do to cure them of their soullessness. This particular initiative, I think might actually be better than they anticipated or intended. This one might actually make the world a better place. Assuming people are receptive to it, that is.
Just think of the name itself: Let’s Talk. It inspires a bit of comfort, and the knowledge that someone wants to hear about your troubles. It might even convince some people to listen as well, and help out their friends, relatives, or possibly even a complete stranger. And sometimes that’s all someone needs. I know that I personally have felt sometimes that things might have been a little easier if I could have just talked to someone about my troubles, and maybe even got a bit of a hug to go with it. And that’s just it. This particular event hits closer to home, because I’ve had the issues that they’re attempting to support solutions for. I know first-hand how hard things can get when you’re depressed or stressed out. And when the mind is broken, so too does the body break. In my own case, I find I’m much more lethargic, and my back aches more than it usually does. And so it’s important to me that we do learn to support each other, and make sure we all see things through to the bitter (better?) end.
As one final point, I should mention also that every year that Bell runs this campaign, they donate five cents of every text message, facebook share, and hashtag use (and maybe some other stuff too) for the one day (in this case, today) to help organizations that work with people with mental health issues. Now I suppose that might not sound like a lot, but this is a VERY large corporation with a vast customer base. I don’t know the exact numbers, but let’s say it’s only 100,000 customers. And let’s say over the course of the day, they only send 5 text messages. 5 messages by 5 cents makes it $0.25 per person. Multiply that by the number of customers, and you get $25,000 donated. I guess depending on how you look at it, that still might not seem like a lot, but I know for a fact I was under-selling all of those numbers, and I didn’t include hashtags or image shares. And yes. That’s barely even a fraction of their profits, no doubt. But at least they’re trying. What are you doing?