Bell Let’s Talk held its eighth annual event hosted by the Wellness Centre at Mount Royal University.
Toques, buttons and stickers were given away to bring awareness towards mental health in hopes to end the stigma. The event gave students and faculty the opportunity to write encouraging messages around mental health that were then stuck on the walls of the hall.
Laura Briggs, mental health nurse for MRU’s Health Services noticed the event grows every year with 2019 being the largest yet. She feels major strides have been made in support of mental health due to this event.
“Mental health affects everyone and bringing it to the public’s attention, just talking about it, lowers the stigma against mental health.”
A 2017 survey by the Royal Society for Public Health stated social media platforms caused anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, bullying, body image issues and the fear of missing out. Briggs did not grow up with social media, she never had to experience her life constantly being recorded. She thinks social media does not give this generation a break.
“I think it has a profound impact on mental health, in terms of, I don’t think people have a chance to be off. When social media is involved, you’re constantly checking something, wanting to check in and it presents this unrealistic picture of life,” she explains.
Sarah Osagie, an MRU business student, respects how the campaign raises awareness but feels Bell may be using it as an out from applying corporate social responsibility to their business.
“At the end of the day, they get more reputation. People are more inclined to use Bell because they are involved with this, support this,” she states.
“But really, it's just something probably someone in the boardroom came up with and was like, ‘Oh! Let's bring awareness to mental illness because it’s trending.”
Supporting mental health benefits a business’ clientele because it bring social awareness. With social media being a keybig factor in today’s society, the topic of mental health is bigger than it’s ever been. Businesses supporting mental health helps its clientele by putting social awareness upfront.
With social media being a key factor in today’s society, the topic of mental health is bigger than it’s ever been. A business supporting mental health helps its clientele by putting social awareness upfront.
According to World Health Organization, 14,000 first-year university students from eight different countries were surveyed and 35 per cent struggled with a form of mental illness.
Social media allows for everyone to be under surveillance and potentially vulnerable for criticism. It even makes Osagie question people’s underlying motives when posting online.
“Everyone’s just invested in everyone else’s life besides their own. And I guess that’s the bad thing about it because at the end of the day, who are we living for at this point? No one really knows — that’s like the domino effect.”
- By Kemi Omorogbe and Mackenzie Gellner