This is weird timing. It was apparently National Mental Health Day and oh so recently, I wrote about my own experiences with said subject. I swear this was not intentional. You probably suspect me anyway, because you’re all jerks. That’s right, I dropped the J-Bomb. Deal with THAT.
Anyway, for those not in the know, National Mental Health Day is also called –might ONLY be called– Bell “Let’s Talk” Day. It’s a time, once a year, when
people you kind of recognize Canadian celebrities get their haircuts in commercials and smile at their phones, while a narrator says, “hey buds, let’s chat about your inner demons.” If genuine, it’s a good idea, but as it comes from a Canadian telecom, it is not genuine, it is likely manipulative at best, evil at worst.
It’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, yes, please, talk to someone about your troubles. It’s a very good thing to do, and if they bother you enough, like I said before, see a goddamn professional. Seriously, it’s not as scary as you think. On the other hand, social media and internet addiction are real things. Any sort of addiction is a serious thing. Hell, the screens from TVs, computers, and phones mess your sleep up. I think it’s called blue light. I dunno, I’m not gonna bother looking it up.
Now, the real reason I’m writing this, beyond wanting to point out the obvious hypocrisy of a telecom telling people to use their possibly detrimental phones to fight said detriments, is because of a news story I read today or yesterday (shut up, time is relative, I lead a busy life). It’s pretty fucking dirty.
A Bell owned radio station fired an employee for mental health issues. She wasn’t disruptive or even rude. She, with a doctor’s note, asked for time off to adjust to new medication. They then fired her. One hour later. “Let’s Talk,” right?
Bell Media is a bunch of fucking lying assholes, and while it’s good they’re raising money for mental health, they’re also making a tidy profit. “Let’s Talk” about Game of Thrones. “Let’s Talk” about sports. “Let’s Talk” about anything other than mental illness, because those people are filth.
HAVING SAID ALL THIS. Even if this isn’t done with the noblest or clearest of intentions, in my opinion, it does promote conversation. It does help to destigmatize those dealing with mental illness and their disorders. So, ULTIMATELY, “Let’s Talk” is a good thing. I guess. It’d be a better thing if it took its own purpose seriously. It’d be monumentally wonderful if it actually affected any sort of tangible change. But that’s some real pie-in-the-sky thinking. I’m just a grump, arms perpetually crossed, frown never ceasing.
Here’s an idea: let them do the advertising and shady backroom dealings while you go and donate to the Canadian Mental Health Association! Cut out the middle man! Be direct! Take charge of your dollars!
Little personal addendum: a friend and I were discussing this, when an acquaintance, totally not a monster wearing the flesh of a man, said: “fuck mental illness and fuck the mentally ill.” I didn’t say anything about my own issues because this man also believes he’s a wizard and we mostly get along fine.