The Problem of Individualization

Wednesday I tweeted/retweeted the official Bell Let’s Talk hashtag at least 100 times. I did that to support the fundraising and also to draw attention to my new blog. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was so worth it.

I’m excited to finally have a personal blog and not feel pressured to represent a company. My own mental health history is something I want to share about a lot more. And I’ve always wanted to write.

There will be some painful parts. But I’ve tried to reframe my stories through the lens of who I am now, or more accurately, who I’m becoming. I plan to put a positive, and hopefully humours at times, spin on things.

The fundraising that’s been done through the Let’s Talk campaign over the years has now hit over 100 million dollars. That’s amazing. But…

There’s at least one big problem with this initiative.

The Let’s Talk campaign individualizes an issue that needs to be addressed by governments and businesses. #BellLetsAct

The Let’s Talk campaign individualizes an issue that needs to be addressed by governments and businesses.

And further still, the company that has raised all that money and benefitted from the campaign, has been known to discriminate. Hopefully it’s getting better, but last year there were a few articles about insufficient mental health support within the company. (1, 2, 3) This is often true with big companies and we really need to stop individualizing issues.

The other thing that caught my attention when looking for those articles was the problem of internet addiction. The irony had occurred to me, but this article really explains it amazingly!

The other individualized issue that comes to mind is the environment. Having run an eco boutique for the past 10+ years I’ve come to see that people regard themselves as “to blame”. This isn’t an individual issue.

Sure, consumerism and waste are big problems that we, as individuals and small businesses, need to address. But the major changes that are so needed, and fast, can only happen when we act collectively. When we demand that big businesses and governments take action.

The major changes that are so needed, and fast, can only happen when we act collectively. When we demand that big businesses and governments take action. #ClimateAction

One of the statements in the original ‘guiding principles’ of my business was to be environmentally and socially responsible.

After 10 years in the industry I’ve realized: I’m not responsible for the environment or for society. Not, at , all. I realized, as I got a bit older, that being responsible for one, single, human mind, and body, and emotions, is completely enough for one single person.

Bell will recycled your old phones and donate to the CMHA. That’s not a favour they do for you, it’s their responsibility.

The small actions we can take in our individual lives are important. But the biggest action we can take is to demand more action from governments and businesses. And we only have 12 years to do it.

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