Announcement of Bell's annual 'Let's Talk' mental health campaign draws ire online
Bell has just kicked off Bell Let's Talk, the telecommunication company's annual mental health campaign. Now in its 13th year, the campaign helps fund mental health programs across the country, while also tackling "the stigma around mental illness."
"As a country, we have made great progress in moving mental health forward, and changed attitudes and behaviours around mental illness," states Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE.
"But despite these gains, we must all do more to address the mental health crisis in Canada."
(1/2) Today marks a new era for Bell Let’s Talk Day.— Bell Let's Talk (@Bell_LetsTalk) January 9, 2023
We are proud to start the new year by committing an additional $10 million for mental health programs ahead of #BellLetsTalk and invite everyone to join Canada’s national day for mental health on January 25! pic.twitter.com/aLYQqlwj2t
But not everyone's on board with the company's altruistic efforts.
Last year, Bell drew sharp criticism after terminating its 35-year contract with veteran journalist Lisa LaFlamme in June.
"I was blindsided," LaFlamme said in a video message posted on Twitter at the time. "And I'm still shocked and saddened by Bell Media's decision."
In an interview with Toronto Star's Rosie DiManno, LaFlamme said, "I've cried every day."
She added that the "traumatizing" experience had her holed up in a cottage for two months just to escape the noise.
More details surfaced, with allegations of sexism and ageism, as well as a "culture of fear" within the company.
As a result, for some, the intent behind Bell Let's Talk feels quite hollow.
It makes no sense that a company (@BellMediaPR) spends weeks advertising a one-day social media fundraiser for mental health-- while not looking out for the health of their own employees.— Anna-Marie (@RealAnnaMarieR) January 8, 2023
Others are downright irate about the campaign.
#BellLetsTalk Time again for Bell Canada's annual phony display of corporate compassion: "Bell Let's Talk". This shameless "cause marketing" scam is slickly packaged as concern for mental illness. This 2018 article exposing this fraud is still relevant. https://t.co/cv1Zx7wb1h— Greg Felton (@FeltonGreg) January 8, 2023
However, some people are applauding the company's efforts.
Believe me when I say, I am all for #BellLetsTalk but maybe this year, we could focus more on #BellLetsListen? Getting people to talk about their mental health is one thing, but getting others to listen is a whole other level. I applaud your efforts, but it’s time to listen too.— Thomas Kuster (@tmkuster) January 9, 2023
Bell Media has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Join the conversation Load comments