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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World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a creation of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). The goal is to help reduce stigma, encourage discussion, and ultimately reduce deaths by suicide.

Nearly 4000 Canadians die by suicide every year. In my former province of Alberta, the rate of suicide is higher than the national average and suicides account for more deaths per year in Alberta than motor vehicle collisions. If this surprises you, it may be because these deaths typically occur in the shadows of the public sphere and they are seldom talked about openly.

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Navigating Media in Our Dangerous World

****This post contains content that may serve as a trigger for those who have faced traumatic experiences**** 

Within less than 2 months, Alberta's two biggest cities were rocked by horrific and senseless crimes - stabbing attacks of unprecedented severity. In February, a worker at an Edmonton supermarket warehouse is alleged to have attacked six of his coworkers, killing two of them. In April, the guest of a University house party in Calgary is alleged to have stabbed five young people to death. This past weekend, violence in St. Paul left a priest dead, police officers injured, and the alleged gunman killed as well. These crimes have devastated Albertans and left us collectively shaking our heads. What led up to these horrible events? How could they happen? Who could do such things? Could they happen again? One certainty following violence of this scale is the flood of media coverage that seeks to provide answers to questions such as these.

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