A Short Story in 30 Tweets

Yesterday was Bell Lets Talk day, which is a campaign hosted by Bell Canada to reduce stigma and raise money for mental health initiatives. It is quite popular (though not without its criticism) and though Bell does need to do a better job of supporting its own people, overall I do think that the campaign does more good than harm. Yesterday I posted a series of numbered tweets with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag in order to do my part for the cause and to make a point about the need for more leadership and commitment from our governments to improve access to mental health care for Ontarians and all Canadians. I've included my tweets below (which when combined resulted in a total donation of a $1.50, thank you very much!). I've edited them into proper paragraphs and removed hashtags and other annoying Twitter trappings.  

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How Do You Use Social Media?

In an age where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networking websites hoover up an inordinate amount of our time, people are increasingly questioning the value of these interactions and their impact on our mental health. Many are wondering about their own use of these tools or see a friend or family member glued to their screen and wonder how this type of 'social interaction' might be impacting their mood. 

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Words Matter

If you suffer from a mental illness, are you a victim or a survivor? Conventional wisdom suggests that the latter is better. But what if neither word quite fits your experience? What if 'suffer' doesn't quite sum it up either? People experiencing mental illness have long felt the power of semantics used against them, from being identified by their diagnosis to the outright loss of their freedom because of it. In some cases, words used to support or motivate can have the opposite effect, as Jowita Bydlowska, argues

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If Not Here, Then Where? And Why?

Image a family member, perhaps your brother or sister, or your friend or partner. Imagine they begin acting strangely. Isolating themselves. Saying bizarre things. Pacing. Tearful. Unable to be reached. Imagine they try to hurt themselves. Frightened and concerned, you would do what anyone would do and try to get them the help they so obviously need. Drive them to hospital, call 911, anything that was required.

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#BellLetsTalk: Reducing Stigma or Corporate Self-Promotion?

As you undoubtedly know, January 28th was the day for tweeting, texting, and calling in order to raise money for mental health. Bell Canada, one of Canada’s largest telecom companies, has run their Let’s Talk campaign since 2011. For every #BellLetsTalk hashtag tweeted, or image posted in Facebook, Bell donates 5 cents for mental health. Five cents is also donated for every local and long distance call and text that Bell customers send. It doesn't sound like much, but this years total amounted to more than 6 million dollars. Great right? Some people are not so sure. I’ve grappled with this question myself.  

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