Today is Bell Let's Talk Day, which means across the country Canadians are joining in a large online conversation aimed at breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. As part of the campaign, Bell Canada will donate $0.05 for every applicable share, view, and text message sent. There's another conversation happening as well though. Hundreds of Canadians are also using Bell Let's Talk Day to criticize Bell with claims about their services and policies, despite their mental health initiatives.
Currently, on various social media platforms, there are multiple trending posts from Canadians claiming that this day is a giant marketing campaign for Bell, claiming that Bell should be doing more than just talk, and even saying that Bell is a national disgrace.
These opinions have been expressed by hundreds of angry Canadians, especially on Reddit. In one thread, one person alleges that Bell is exploiting the underdeveloped wireless market, deterring competition, and claims that Bell is trying to ban VPN and certain websites. On top of this, the poster users Bell's own mental health campaign phrase of "Let's Talk" to start every statement.
This is only one example of people out there who are calling out Bell despite their mental health initiatives today. In the various threads, some Canadians are even claiming that Bell doesn't actually care about mental health.
On top of the Reddit threads, there are several Tweets from Canadians who also claim that Bell doesn't care about mental health. These are only some of them.
So I made a status about mental health a week ago and nobody batted an eye because people only care about it today. If it isn't bell let's talk day it doesn't get talked about. #fuckbellletstalkday— ℝ𝕚𝕧𝕤 (@riiiivs) January 30, 2019
Bell only cares about mental health “success stories” i.e. people who have pushed past their mental illnesses to succeed in school, athletics, etc. like Clara Hughes and Howie Mandel. Bell doesn’t care about the scary truth about mental illnesses. Have a good day.— lauren (@laurenhoytt) January 30, 2019
Hi. This is a yearly reminder that Bell is a corporate entity that doesn't care about mental health beyond using it as an opportunity for publicity. Please go talk to that friend of yours who went through a rough time lately and make a donation to the CMHA. #BellLetsTalkDay— maxwell kraft (@thechatsubo) January 30, 2019
Bell doesn't care about your mental health, they're party to a corporate monopoly on communication and the only thing they want to "Let's Talk" about is overdue bills. Anyday is a good day to discuss mental health.— Sunday Night Bombers (@NightBombers) January 30, 2019
honestly im not gonna tweet about bell lets talk because its literally just PR. they don't actually care. capitalism doesn't care about mental health. if you want to find help, go online and find a therapist in your area. call a help line. these companies dont care.— liv (@lxvvey) January 30, 2019
This wouldn't be the first time claims like this arose out of Bell Let's Talk Day. Around this time last year, CBC reported that a former Bell Media employee claims that she was fired from her job just hours after asking for some time off to deal with a mental health issue.
The former employee, Maria McLean, who worked at a Bell Media radio station in Newfoundland, said at the time that she was told that opening up about her mental health isn't the reason she was let go, but she still felt she was being discriminated against.
Despite her situation, McLean told CBC that she still believes Bell has good intentions when it comes to their Bell Let's Talk campaign, however, she said she believes they should have put their money where their mouth is.
Bell responded to the claims at the time as well. They told CBC they couldn't comment on specific employee matters but said that they support workplace mental health.
In a statement, the company said "Bell's a clear leader in workplace mental health, and it is, of course, a fundamental part of our human resources approach. And while we would not normally comment on specific employee issues, I can confirm Bell does not dismiss employees because of mental health issues, in this case, or any other. When people make such claims after the fact, we always reach out and offer counselling and other support, and have done so here."
We have reached out to Bell for a comment on the recent claims against them but due to Bell Let's Talk day, they are informing people to expect long delays in responses.
Bell Let's Talk day has been an ongoing mental health awareness campaign since 2010. Since the start of this initiative, Bell says they have donated $93,423,628.80 to mental health research programs.