Bell Let’s Talk

I have mental illnesses, there I said it, and it shouldn’t change how you think about me, I am the same Emily I was 3 minutes ago before you read that sentence, if you liked me then, there’s no reason to not now. I have long struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD etc. it has been a long battle that is nowhere near over, but I get up everyday and continue that battle, whether you knew or not. I am telling you this because I think it is important for me to say, mental health initiatives strike close to home for me.

I have read a lot of differing opinions on the Bell Let’s Talk day, and here is mine.

I get it, I completely understand the people who look at the numbers and say “well 5 cents, that’s not very much for a company so big, they could more than that”. Yes they could, but they are giving something that will make a difference so it is start.

The fact that bell has it’s brand all over it? That they will make money from this day, does that bother me as it bothers many people? No not really. And here is why the small amount of money and the branding doesn’t bother me.

It is starting conversations, yes we need to talk about this more than once a day, we need to care more than one day, because mental illnesses last more than one day, but the fact that this movement is growing and reaching more people, starting conversations, or even just getting people thinking about it, that’s great. We need to talk about it, and if bell makes some money by getting the general public talking and donates some money while they’re at it, I think that is great.

I want it to not be okay to make jokes about people with mental illnesses, I want the media to stop portraying mental illnesses as the cause for violence and terrorism, I want to be able to be honest with people without fearing judgment, or losing a friend. I want to be able to tell you on days when the demons in my head are winning, and not be called “crazy” or “attention seeking” or a “cliche”. The days when it’s hardest to be my friend are the days when I need you the most, but I don’t need you to move mountains, most of the time I need a hug, and I need you to remind me that even on the days when I can’t love myself, you still love me. And if that happens for people because bell made some extra money, then I think that is completely fine.

Bell let’s talk may not end the stigma around mental illnesses today, or next year, but it starts conversations, and while that may sound like a small thing to many people, little victories aren’t little when they are yours. So I hope lots of people get their life changing “little” victories.

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