Bell Let’s Talk Day is a campaign by Bell Canada to promote the discussion of mental health and raise funds for mental health funding, and occurs in the month of January every year. On this day, the social media world transforms into an international platform for people to share, repost, and initiate conversation about personal mental health struggles. Every year, I scroll through hundreds of reposts of the same Bell Let’s Talk video that donates 5 cents per share. But what happens when this day is done? More often than not, I find that we go back to acting like our lives are perfect.
Mental health is a component of every single human life. Every day, we have our own struggles, thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Almost 20% of people will face depression in their lifetime and up to a third of the population will struggle with an anxiety disorder at some point. If this is the case, why must we curate the best parts of our lives for everyone else to see while strategically masking our failures and tribulations? The short answer is that we don’t want to showcase our weaknesses for the world to see. The long answer is that we should work and try to.
The facade that we see online and in everyday life creates more damage than one may think. If you sit down and ponder it, it begins to make little sense. All of us promote the happiness and successes that life brings, when realistically, we often have times that make us feel sad, angry, upset or inadequate. Unless you’re a robot or a psychopath, these are pretty normal emotions to face. Other people that also struggle with feeling sad, or angry, or upset, or inadequate, see our picture-perfect lives and wonder where they are going wrong. How did he get a job already…am I doing something wrong? How is she so pretty? How is their relationship so perfect? How did they afford that cottage? How did she get promoted? The list goes on.
It is so important that we normalize being as authentic as possible on social media and in real life. That doesn’t mean you have to post a selfie for Instagram post-emotional breakdown, or share with the world that you got a C on your paper. Rather, making room for open dialogue about mental health struggles (that most of us face at some point) and showing that we’re all in this together can spark unity and togetherness in a world that is currently as socially isolated as possible. In the current climate we’re in, we don’t need competitiveness, envy, or judgment. Let’s show one another that we’re all still human, and we all have flaws. Normalize allowing our mental health struggles be acknowledged for more than one day of the year.