Dear U.S. Cellphone Providers, Be Like Bell

Canada, with polices such as universal healthcare, has been known to be a progressive country that puts health first. And so do their companies. #BellLetsTalk day is a monumental day in Canada each year that raises money and awareness towards mental health awareness by donating five cents for every tweet or retweet using that hashtag.

In three months, Bell, a wireless provider, will once again donate millions of dollars as they end up doing every year. And in doing so, they get a ton of people in the conversation about the stigma relating to mental health disorders and contribute in their own way, to the billion dollar industry that is mental health in Canada. And it’s time U.S. cell providers (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) follow suit.

Almost 1 of every 5 Americans suffer from a mental health disorder. That would be almost 65 million of the 324 million people that occupy this country. Mental health is a major issue in this country and nobody pays attention to it, unless you’re a white man that carries out a mass shooting.

Also, unlike Canada, healthcare in the United States is not free and the Trump administration threatens any idea of universal healthcare in itself. That simply means that there are some people in the United States who just simply cannot afford to take care of their mental health. So if the U.S. cellular industry follows the footsteps of Bell, they have an incredible opportunity to make a difference.

Verizon is the second largest cellphone provider in terms of profit in the entire world, with AT&T trailing right behind them. The cellular industry itself is a billion dollar industry. Doing charitable work like this would hardly take even a fraction of the profit these companies receive, which is why this call to action is extremely reasonable.

Whether you suffer from bipolar depression or even something extremely less severe like ADHD, you are part of the 20% of Americans that suffer from mental health disease and are aimlessly ignored by the U.S. health industry. And that is where mimicking a #BellLetsTalk day could be instrumental. To fight the stigma and make progress.

Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc. the table is yours. Instead of saying “Can you hear me now?” when competing against one another, maybe you can say it to change our country for good and get people the help they desperately need. Doing yoga, taking a walk, meditating, etc. are not good excuses to deny people the opportunity to get help. It is time for the United States to put mental health at the forefront of the political table and it is time for U.S. cellphone providers to help get it there.

Photo By Bell

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