Today is the #BellLetsTalk day. For every call or text from a Bell user, 5 cents goes towards mental health. Additionally, every share of a specific Facebook post and every Tweet bearing #BellLetsTalk ads more money to the pot.
The goal of this day however is not to fundraise money (although many are flooding newsfeeds and inboxes to do so) but to start a conversation about #MentalHealth.
#MentalHealth. It’s got its own hashtag so it must be important. We live in an age where news can be shared worldwide in seconds, where doctors and researchers can share their data and collaborate from halfway around the world.
Unfortunately, this wonderful new age is still full of stigma. People don’t always understand someone else’s illness and therefore can act afraid and like a regular bast*rd.
We rally around tags like #BellLetsTalk, because it’s socially acceptable, it’s trending which makes it trendy and cool. We care about mental health- we shared the post, we Tweeted, we mass texted our phone (#guilty).
But what we really want, is to scream out loud “I HAVE DEPRESSION.”
“I HAVE BIPOLAR.” “I HAVE DIABETES.” “I HAVE CHRONIC PAIN.”
“I have )!&#^$(#@&*^ Disorder you have never heard of/don’t understand/judge me on and I NEED HELP! I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND!”
Even our heroes and role models are afraid to share their journey until they are significantly into recovery or 100% sure that nothing will change, like Selena Gomez who is still not comfortable talking about Lupus.
Today some people will share their personal journey with mental health or another disorder. Some will Tweet and share to show their support whether they are sincere or not. Others will keep their personal journey quiet and silently support others through initiatives like #BellLetsTalk, waiting for the day when they won’t be afraid of stigma,
We wait for the day when stigma no longer exists and EVERYDAY is a #BellLetsTalk day.