The Importance of Being Purple on October 10

As part of our commitment to keep families safe through TELUS Wise, we’ve partnered with Carol Todd and the Amanda Todd Legacy Society.  We believe in Carol Todd’s initiative and want to support her by sharing her story. 

October 10 is World Mental Health Day. According to Wikipedia it is defined as “a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.” It was first celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members in more than 150 countries. On this day every October, thousands of supporters bring attention to mental illness and its effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.

This year to commemorate World Mental Health Day, we are asking everyone to proudly go purple. You might be wondering why we are using purple versus green (green is the colour associated with mental health). Purple happens to be my daughter Amanda‘s and my favorite colour. As you probably know, Amanda took her life on October 10, 2012 as a result of extreme bullying. This is why purple is personally symbolic for me.

Amanda suffered from extreme depression and anxiety which manifested after she had been bullied online and offline, in addition to extortion attempts being made on her. My daughter – who was as vibrant as the colour purple – started to fade away as a result of the negative attention that was forced upon her. She became afraid to talk about how she felt in fear that others would make fun of her and call her crazy. When she finally did start talking she was right; some of her closest peers called her crazy and much worse.

I get asked so many times: “Why is advocating for mental health issues and bringing attention to World Mental Health Day so important to you?” and “Is mental health the pink (or purple) elephant in the room?” I feel that the growing support for the Light Up the World Purple Day shows that we are one step closer to educating the world about this important topic and that it is okay to openly talk about mental health.

In the past two years it has become clear to me that creating a movement to increase education and conversation about mental health is beginning to make a difference. It takes patience and perseverance to make mental health a topic that we can openly discuss. But with kindness and respect, we will make a difference between healthy and unhealthy and maybe even life and death. That’s what we hope to achieve with Light Up the World Purple Day; to take the discussion about mental health and wellness to the mainstream and no longer just whisper about it.

How Can You Participate?

On October 10, people around the world are encouraged to Light Up the World Purple for World Mental Health Day. You can light up a building, your home, yourself, make your Smartphone wallpaper or Facebook Page purple, create purple crafts, bake and decorate with purple, drink purple tea, enjoy purple ice cream or even colour your hair purple. Be Creative! Then be sure to join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram by sharing your purple images and using #LIGHTUPPURPLE.

For Amanda and all the others we have lost or are caring for as a result of bullying and mental health issues, please take the time to do something purple and share it with pride this October 10. And if someone asks “why purple?” Be sure to tell them all about why “Purple is the new Black”.

Be sure to download our Snowflake icon for your Smartphone wallpaper and/or to use as your Twitter or Facebook profile pic below: