With awareness growing, Bell's campaign donated over six million dollars this year, making 2015 the most profitable year for the 'Let's Talk' campaign
A new report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada says that mental health problems among youth groups are on the rise. The report isn't clear on whether the rising trend is due to a decrease in mental health, or an increase in awareness and diagnosis.
In any given classroom at MRU with about 30 students, three of them will be diagnosed with depression, two will seriously consider suicide, and 18 of those students will experience overwhelming anxiety, said Zoe Slusar, the Vice President of Student Life at the Students Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU).
SAMRU teamed up with Bell Canada to host Bell's annual Let's Talk event on Jan. 28 at Mount Royal University (MRU). The nation-wide event was also hosted at multiple venues across Canada.
Bell donated five cents for every mention of the event on Twitter using "#BellLetsTalk."
Bell donated over six million dollars this year, bringing their total donation amount to over 73 million dollars, and making this a record setting year for the mental health campaign.
Produced by Tyler Klinkhammer and Jesse Yardley
According to a press release from Bell, this year Let's Talk reached "a record 122,150,772 tweets, texts, calls and shares on Bell Let's Talk Day yesterday means Bell will donate a further $6,107,538.60 to Canadian mental health programs."
Slusar said these types of events that draw attention to mental health awareness are absolutely essential.
"Mental health is something that is really relevant to young people," said Slusar. Dealing with the pressures of work, school — financially and academically — and worries about the future, all make university life "quite a difficult time in this stage of human development."
"By hosting events that promote mental health awareness, we encourage discussion and we also create a more inviting environment for those topics to come up, and for students to connect with resources if they are struggling," said Slusar.
The issue of mental health affects many students at MRU.
Many more students experiencing depression may go without some form of diagnosis.
Caroline Iannone, a registered psychologist and part-time student councilor at the Wellness Centre at Mount Royal said that student counseling is vital to the mental health of students who are often facing enormous pressures, especially during high-stress periods, such as exam time.
There are several programs available at MRU for anyone who is suffering mental health issues. Financial support is available for students who are eligible, the Student Wellness center offers counseling for students who feel the need to talk, and SAMRU offers community-building programs to combat feelings of isolation.
- By TYLER KLINKHAMMER & JESSE YARDLEY