By: Kayla Henson
If you were anywhere on social media on January 25th, you probably stumbled across countless posts that ended with the hashtag “#BellLetsTalk.” Every post with that hashtag was followed by some sort of encouraging words regarding mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The movement is called Bell Let’s Talk and it’s one of the most powerful examples of how social media can make a difference.
Founded in Canada in 2010, this movement began a conversation about the stigma against people struggling with depression and anxiety. By simply using the given hashtag, the company donates five cents towards projects and organizations particularly pertaining to mental illnesses in Canada. Each interaction with the hashtag instantly results in money to fund research, while also sending positive messages throughout different forums of social media.
This year alone, $6,585,250 was raised through social media such as Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The amount came largely through Twitter interactions, and largely surpassed last year’s amount of Twitter involvement. This was thanks in large part to big names like comedian Ellen DeGeneres and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for using their social media platforms to spread the cause to a larger audience.
This movement is extremely significant to spreading awareness for mental health issues and provides an excellent reason for people to use their social media sites for a good cause. This cause is very near and dear to my life and the lives of many people that I know. It’s safe to predict that new movements will stem from this idea in the coming years. The reason being that most people are constantly exposed to/interacting with some type of social media platform every day. If companies can figure out how to harness all that interaction towards good causes, social media will continue to take us one step further into bettering our world and the people in it.