Meaningful work: Part of a complete mental health program | What's Left

On January 27th, the Bell Let's Talk campaign flooded the airwaves and internet once again, with a corporate campaign taking aim at 'fixing' mental health issues. Discussing mental health is important: millions of Canadians of all ages are affected both at home and at work. Mental health includes anxiety, depression and if un-addressed can lead to mental illness and other health issues that leave individuals struggling for the rest of their lives.

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Everyone agrees that mental health needs to be addressed, and indeed, talked about in mainstream media. However, the Bell Let’s Talk campaign has more to do with Bell purchasing millions of dollars of P.R. than addressing the root causes of mental health issues. What the public needs to be made aware of are the thousands of workers who have Bell for an employer and who have paid the costs of the company’s outsourcing and profit-making business decisions.

It’s impossible to talk about mental health on college and university campuses without talking about rising tuition fees and the fact that getting an education puts an incredible financial burden on families. It’s impossible to talk about mental health in the workplace without talking about agency over one’s work, the pressure and consequences of feeling useless and exploited – a nameless pawn in a giant machine. It’s impossible to talk about mental health without pointing to the stark economic disparity we live in, where the rich get richer and everyone else can’t go to school, retire, or pay for daycare.

Part of every conversation about mental health should be the idea that a better, more equal world, would also make us healthier, more balanced individuals. That’s why efforts to build an alternative to the current economic system must be sustained.

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• [[][Let’s Talk About How My Job at Bell Gave Me Mental Health Issues and No Benefits]]