I want to make it evidently clear that I am all for mental health awareness and supporting related causes. I have always struggled and believe that funding is entirely necessary.
Bell is a Canadian Telecommunications giant. For one day each year, the #BellLetsTalk campaign overtakes social media, with Olympian Clara Hughes as their Spokeswoman.
They make sure you are aware of the campaign through every advertising platform imaginable. I can’t imagine the money they put in to advertising alone.
They utilize the hashtag to get their customers and even non-customers talking about it to which they make a donation to their own fund.
I just don’t think this is the right way to do it. I have most definitely had real-life disagreements on this subject as well.
Here’s why I don’t think it’s okay:
- According to Forbes, Bell Canada (BCE) has a market cap of 40.5 Billion Dollars.
- Bell’s employees do not get equal or fair treatment in regards to their own mental health. CBC has written about this and there are various other articles online too.
- They have various ways you can get involved and they donate 5 cents to different initiatives. As far as I am concerned, they can make a sizeable donation without using the hashtag to, essentially, get very cheap marketing for their brand.
- The Bell Community Fund has a financial cap of $25,000 and has all kinds of exclusions including: Anti-stigma projects and event sponsorships etc.
I believe we should get to the point where talking about our mental health is a regular thing we can participate in and completely free of judgment. I don’t believe it is right to capitalize on mental health/wellness/illness for financial gain. I also don’t think it should be segregated to one day of the year that is decided on by a multi-billion dollar telecommunications giant.
Let’s talk about it, I think we need a new hashtag.
Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and should not reflect the brands or companies I have graciously partnered with.