Layoffs Mute Bell Let’s Talk Movement


There is no doubt that Bell Media’s annual Let’s Talk campaign to raise mental health awareness is one of the most brilliant, successful, and effective PR campaigns in recent memory.

Several athletes and media personalities, including former TSN personality Michael Landsberg, have shared their stories using the platform in the most public of ways.  In short, I can’t think of a more helpful, positive, and useful use of social media on either side of the border.

This year’s campaign has been adversely affected by last year’s decision by someone(s) to follow the event with massive layoffs and station closures.

As far as the underlying cause is concerned, no one has taken offense.  COVID and all that it has brought has only increased the need for support for those in need, and isolation of any kind is clearly not a good thing.  Nevertheless, a person’s job tends to be the most personal thing to them after their health and the timing of the layoffs and format changes were tone-deaf to the cause, muting the event this year.

According to my timeline and texts today, that tweet describes what many in and around sports media are thinking today.


Clearly, this is not a tired campaign that has run its course. The problem is that people aren’t comfortable endorsing an organization that does good (they make a donation for every hashtag used), but there are a lot of people out there who know someone who was laid off, even if they themselves weren’t laid off.

I am sorry that such a good cause is no longer what it once was. For those who support the cause without hashtags, I have a newfound respect. One person told me the issues people are facing transcend the present and last a lifetime. It is hypocritical for companies to suggest they care when their actions a few weeks later show otherwise. The cause can be supported in other ways without supporting the corporation.






Born and raised in Toronto, Jonah Sigel is currently based in Seattle, WA. An avid sports fan, Jonah took to writing about the sports media world back in 2004 with two young kids at home, a new job and a return to Toronto. The interest grew and grew to include the former website, the twitter handle @yyzsportsmedia, the PressRow podcast and now the all new

One Reply to “Layoffs Mute Bell Let’s Talk Movement”

  1. What’s noticeable compared to previous years is that there were none of the TV specials Bell Media produced for ‘Let’s Talk Day’. There was also a hashtag tracker on a lot of the Bell-owned TV stations. Also, I don’t know if it’s a corporation decision outside of Bell, there was mention of mental health awareness but nothing associated with ‘Let’s Talk Day’. Carolyn Cameron opened ‘Wednesday Night Hockey’ was one example. Normally, Rogers would replace their board spot in place of the event banner for the one Leaf home game in the lead up to the event; which didn’t happen this year. A lot has changed since 2021.

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