Tuesday was Bell Let’s Talk Day. It was by all accounts very successful. Bell committed to donating 5 cents for every long distance call and text message sent with your Bell phone. For those who don’t use Bell as their phone carrier – participation was still possible through Facebook shares and on Twitter using #BellLetsTalk. The results are in, over 96M messages, calls, shares and tweets were made. That translates to a commitment from Bell of $4.86M in donations to mental health programs in Canada.
It gets better. That’s in addition to the $50M over 5 years that Bell originally committed to. All this together means their new grand total is $62M in financial commitment. That’s a huge number.
But the best part? 96M messages, calls, shares and tweets can go a long way to end stigma of mental health. But it doesn’t happen in a day and it’s important to keep talking, sharing, tweeting and messaging… and blogging – which is why I waited to Friday to talk about it again.
Now of course there is criticism. Legitimate critique that Bell has struck gold with a brilliant marketing plan – the hashtag wasn’t just #letstalk, it was #bellletstalk. As far as branding and brand recognition – Bell had a very successful day of marketing and nothing more. But you know what – I don’t care. $62M is a lot of money and can make significant difference. And 96M messages particularly the Facebook shares and Tweets about mental health help. They help fight stigma and they help those who are struggling realize they are not alone. If all of those messages encouraged 1 person to reach out and get help – then go ahead and relish in your brand recognition Bell – you’ve earned it.
As for the documentary I wrote about earlier this week – well, now that I’ve seen it I can attest to its impact and the value of the message. I knew it would be great (it was), and I knew I would cry through the entire thing (I did), but I could only hope that it would impact people that didn’t know James the same way. I’ve got to believe that of the 12500+ people who have watched the film on YouTube in the last 48 hours – they have been impacted, and hopefully those that need it have found some help and comfort in the message of hope.
So for the cableless or those that don’t get TSN or CTV here it is – Talk to Me: The Story of James Patrick Peek.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to Let’s Talk Day – and please continue to spread a message of hope for those affected by mental illness.