There is, in Canada, a telecom company that runs a mental health “chat/fundraiser” for the mentally ill. It takes the form of having 5Cents going towards mental health for every message sent to its hashtag channel. It promotes mental health “validity” by helping raise awareness. It seems too good to be true.
And it is. This telecom also regularly overcharges its clients, normal or not, and makes no effort to correct this practice, despite having been in the business of mobile devices for decades, and even after having been outed by not just one or two TV news channels. So is there any wonder when one questions just what is in it for them to help the mentally ill?
First of all, the texting isn’t free for the mental health user. Then there is the profitability of using what could be termed “a gimmick”: for every 5Cents that goes (questionably) to “mental health”, at least 10Cents goes to the company. Thirdly, there is no accountability as to what they do with the 5Cents per text that they accrue.
But what is egregious is when they try to censor the freedom of expression for those who wish to criticize normaloids in a tweet to their room. There are many of us who are frustrated, no—bitter—over what the average normal, non-ill person says about those of us who are mentally ill. It’s bad enough that they treat us like pariahs. But when normaloids get together, they enjoy a good banter at our expense.
Oh, normaloids have called us many things. There is no recourse, either. They can’t be charged for hate crimes since the mentally ill are known to hallucinate and get paranoid. Even if you caught them on a recording, the odds are in their favour. Good odds. As a paranoid schizophrenic, I can tell you that we are at the bottom of the food chain.
What I found difficult to accept is that this telecom issued a public campaign to get people like me to “choose our words wisely”. I think I’d be too narcissistic or paranoid to think that it had to do with me, personally. But, I had just been tweeting to their channel that “everybody is a c*nt when it comes to the mentally ill”. You can’t say that word in Canada. Yet, I was giving myself a voice out of frustration. I was offering something worth talking about.
Why is this difficult? It’s because you should hear the things normaloids say about us crazies when they figure out that you’re not right in the head. As if we could help it. Mental illness is genetic, biological, and triggered by our social environment. If, as a fetus, you had a bad chemical wash in your brain that was out of your control, and, after birth, became “a difficult child”, being whipped until a second chemical wash of suicidality was introduced, completely out of your control and undeserved, well, would I be wrong for calling you a lunatic and shunning you, too?
That’s what I mean. Finally, we have a forum sponsored by a major corporation, and they’re afraid we are too expressive. All the while, doing nothing to fight the good fight and use their coffers to stop stigma. How? By doing more. Call out the offending normaloids as committing hate crimes. But no, they sit comfortably in their offices, ignoring perhaps the homeless guy on the street, and running ads on television that we are too careless with our words. Really? I mean, really? Is the whole mental health hashtag for this big telecom just a gimmick?
I am ashamed at times to call myself Canadian, but not more than to call myself mentally ill. People Iike those who work at this telecom made sure of both of these.
And here it is, right on CBC.ca’s website.
And you doubted me?