It’s a tech story and it’s a people story. Not about the downsides, the bad habits, the life sucking waste of time of games/apps/social media, nor the digital self help apps designed to make up for all of those. It’s about a company (Bell Canada) gathering men and women from sports and entertainment to use social media to break down the barriers enclosing too many people in mental health problems. It is, in other words, a story about the amazingly positive and productive things technology and people together can do. And this year, on January 25th, it was another big success.
When you think about it, outside of disease and potential galactic events, most of the problems the world faces are mental. That means our problems are treatable. Allowing one person to bring their mental health issues into the light can allow a family and friends to breath and grow. Since 2010, the Bell program has raised north of $85 million. Imagine the mental, emotional, creative, and economic payback of that kind of investment.
Doubts? Consider what Mary Deacon, chairwoman of the initiative, says are the five steps of ending the stigma around mental health: be aware of your words (yes, language matters); educate yourself about the facts; be kind; listen and ask; and talk about it.
That’s advice everyone can live by.
Bell, and everyone involved, you have most certainly shown us The Better Angels of Our Nature: