Halifax — Nova Scotia man Ryan Violette was among the first of his Facebook friends to add a temporary profile picture this morning of his beaming face with a Bell Let’s Talk filter over it.
“It’s was just my small contribution to a great campaign,” said Violette. “That is until Brad saw my picture, messaged me and said ‘Do you have time to chat right now?’ Like, obviously not — I’m at work. I don’t want to actually talk; that’s more of a figure of speech. But I had to say yes or else come off like a total jerk. He called me on the phone and talked to me about his mental health, of all things, for 4 hours! What a complete waste of my time.”
Violette said several of his friends had the same issue with people calling their bluff today.
“I posted a status about my ongoing anxiety, and added the hashtag #BellLetsTalk at the end,” said Brianne Murphy. “Seconds later, my friend Dana messaged and asked for recommendations on therapists in the area, and wanted to know if I had any tips for dealing with depression. I hate to be mean, but she could have at least liked my status or commented publicly, so other people would see how helpful I am. Now I’m stuck messaging her privately all day. God, she’s so selfish.”
We spoke with Brad Kilburn, who attempted to reach out to Violette this morning.
“I texted or called 16 different people today who posted about Bell Let’s Talk, and Ryan was the only one who wasn’t too busy and didn’t hang up on me,” Kilburn explained. “Well, he said he was too busy but I could tell he was lying, so I just poured my heart out to him. It felt great, actually. Only took me 3 hours to find someone who meant what they posted.”
Violette said he just wanted to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues, not open a can of worms.
“Bell is a corporation that truly cares about mental illness; if a corporation can be so selfless, surely I can be, too, and there’s no better way to show your empathy than to post on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter — whatever,” he ranted. “But come on, don’t call or message me when I’m busy. That stresses me out. Ugh, now I need to talk.”