I know I’ve been very much away from this blog for a whopping month plus, and my apologies for that. I would like to update, in the spirit of huzzah, that a) I made it through my second Christmas in a row without a panic attack, b) I got married days later!
I will be coming back to write, but my PhD is being a bit demanding at the moment. Shortly, I will be writing here again. Just a couple of more weeks.
Meantime, TODAY is Bell’s annual mental health campaign in Canada, Let’s Talk: http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ If you’re a Bell customer, do lots of random texting today! You will help raise some money for mental health research. Send a text to everyone on your phone saying hi, and see what happens.
So here’s something that needs saying. Since posting the above, I’ve been talking to various people about the Bell campaign. Something that I’ve pushed aside, but many people would like to talk about, is the fact that the campaign paints the mental health picture in two colours – rosy pink, and evil darkness. The latter is imaged to be what mental health is (to experience, the state of ‘mental health’ in Canada today…we’re not sure), the former is what will happen if you text using Bell. You can see this embodied in this year’s oversimplifications on billboards – ‘Let’s turn 😦 into :)’ and ‘thumbs down’ into ‘thumbs up’.
Those billboards, and that message, are obviously crass, and disgusting.
I completely agree that Bell is oversimplifying, to the point of being offensive. There’s also the entirely questionable practice of large corporations practicing once-a-year charitable endeavours that really only serve the company, and give very minimally to research, to promoting better health, or to people who actually suffer from illness. At the end of the day, I cannot deny that Bell’s campaign is about Bell, not about people who suffer from mental health.
On the other hand, I promote it because I’d rather grab any opportunity to push more money into the research funds than let the possibility slip away. If they’re going to do the campaign, I would rather have it make a splash, get people thinking about the issue (even if stupidly), and getting some money flowing towards research. It’s not the most philosophically endearing sentiment on my behalf, nor is it particularly moral. But I would rather make some small dent in this fashion than focus on the negative aspects of what Bell as a company has chosen to do.