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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#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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Mental Health Indicators for Canada

A preliminary report entitled Informing the Future: Mental Health Indicators for Canada was released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). You can check it out here. The purpose of the report is to put together a more complete picture of mental health in Canada than we currently have and answer questions such as, how many Canadians experience positive mental health? How many suffer from common mental health conditions? 

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Suicide Prevention in Toronto

There has been a lot of discussion about the Toronto Public Health Board’s recent report to city council on suicide prevention. For some, it may be surprising to learn that suicide is the cause of more deaths in Toronto than motor vehicle accidents and homicide (about three and four times as many, respectively). In 2009, this translated to 243 deaths by suicide in Toronto.

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An Emphasis On The 'Progressive'?

Shortly after 6pm on March 19th, 2014, Alison Redford resigned as premier of Alberta. For many, this was no surprise. Over the last several months, Ms. Redford had become mired in controversy owing to her apparent penchant for high cost travel, her government's contempt for Albertan's tax dollars, and what was said to be a top down approach to managing a caucus increasingly characterized by pettiness and infighting.

I was left wondering where it all went wrong. What the hell happened to the assurance of an open, accountable government and this hopeful new leader who promised "an emphasis on the progressive"? Ms. Redford's party won the 2012 provincial election on a mandate that leaned heavily on social responsibility. Her pleas to teachers, healthcare workers, and educators and her promises to raise AISH payments, increase wages of front line care workers, raise child care subsidies, and reduce poverty all helped to hold off what was predicted to be a huge win for the Wildrose Alliance.

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