Bell says this year’s Let’s Talk Day set new records with more messages and engagement than ever before.
In a release, the Montreal-based telecom company said total talk, text and social media interactions were up 3.1 percent over last year’s Let’s Talk Day. Further, the hashtag ‘#BellLetsTalk’ topped Twitter’s trending list both in Canada and worldwide.
In total, Bell says people shared 159,173,435 messages of support. The company pledged to donate $0.05 per message, which means it will donate $7,958,671.75 to mental health. Bell says its total funding commitment now stands at $121,373,806.75, which is on track to meet its $155 million target.
Along with the messages, Bell says Let’s Talk Day engagement on social media reached 42,688,092 interactions across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.
Leading up to Let’s Talk Day, Bell announced several new funding initiatives for mental health projects:
- $2.5 million to launch the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund to support Canadian colleges and universities in implementing the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.
- $2 million donations to the Brain Canada Foundation (matched by the Canadian government).
- $1 million in grants from the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund for eight organizations that support the mental health and well-being of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities in Canada.
- $500,000 donation to ‘Jack.org‘ to expand the reach of Jack Chapters in hundreds of communities across Canada
- $420,000 donation to the QEII Foundation in Halifax to support new repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) clinics.
- $300,000 donation to CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation’s intensive ambulatory care program for teenage patients being treated for an eating disorder.
While it’s great to see Bell’s campaign doing well, it’s also important to note that it isn’t perfect. The campaign has been criticized as a shiny advertising blitz disguised as concern for people suffering from mental health issues.
Further, researchers have noted that advertisers can take note of people participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day and target them with ads for products that claim to help with their mental health illnesses.