This past Saturday people across Canada participated in the #BellLetsTalk campaign. Canadians every where had the opportunity to make a donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) with spending a penny. With any tweet including #BellLetsTalk, Bell Canada made a $0.05 donation, Bell also donated the same amount for any text message or long distance call by Bell customers; the communication giant also introduced a snapchat geo-filter this year making the same donation for any snapchat sent with the filter. A nickel may not sound like a lot, but it adds up, Ellen DeGeneres got word and sent out a tweet that amassed over 297,000 retweets, resulting in a donation of almost $15,000. Canadian stars such as Howie Mandel and olympian Clara Hughes also racked up retweets leading to very large numbers, according to Bell, mentions went up almost 19 per cent from 2016.
For every retweet of this, Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian Mental Health Programs, and I think that’s amazing. #BellLetsTalk
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 25, 2017
Days like Bell Lets Talk Day are extremely important for organizations such as the CMHA. For a service that caters to some 20 per cent of Canadians that will suffer from mental illness, mental health funding is surprisingly low, according to a staff member at the Windsor/Essex branch of the CMHA, only 7 per cent of the health budget goes towards mental health. The $6.6 million dollars raised by Bell Lets Talk day could go a long way in reducing wait times and availability of services, which could be very important considering suicide accounts for 24 per cent of deaths amongst 12-24 year olds, according to the CMHA. Though efforts like Bell Lets Talk Day help, there’s always a place more money could go. The Windsor/Essex CMHA will be holding a fundraiser February 15th at the WFCU centre, for more information visit www.solefocusproject.ca