News, Culture & Society

Harry and Meghan slammed over link to phone network blamed for inmate’s death


millionairematch.com MillionaireMatch.com - The #1 Luxury Dating Site

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are slammed over their support for mental health campaign run by phone firm blamed for schizophrenic inmate’s death

  • Couple shared Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk campaign on Sussex Royal Instagram 
  • Cleve Geddes killed himself in prison due to not being able to call his family 
  • Network stops inmates from making collect calls to mobile phones from jail
  • Mr Geddes’ sister slammed hypocrisy of Bell Canada encouraging people to talk 

A grieving sister who blames a phone network for her mentally ill brother’s death has slammed the company’s ‘kindness’ campaign after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle endorsed it online.

The Royals promoted Bell Let’s Talk on their SussexRoyal Instagram page, but were criticised for not properly researching Bell Canada.

The network was named as a factor in the death of Cleve Geddes, who hanged himself aged 30.

Harry and Meghan are pictured at Canada House

Cleve Geddes (left) killed himself in prison while suffering from schizophrenia after the phone network whose mental health campaign is being promoted by Harry and Meghan (right, at Canada House) on social media  

He killed himself at Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in February 2017 after he was unable to call his loved ones, his sister Sigrid told Sun Online.

Mr Geddes suffered from schizophrenia and was in solitary confinement because there were no beds available while he was in for a psychiatric assessment.

He took his own life after Bell Canada’s prison phone policy did not allow him to make a collect call to mobiles.

Sigrid said of the Sussexes’ endorsement: ‘It’s very typical, it’s a very classic behaviour of celebrities to do this.

‘Mental health is important for all of us and it makes them look good to be actively speaking about a very, very hot topic that has been taboo to speak about. It makes them look good.

‘Am I disappointed? I think they need to be made aware that this is a media campaign to make the company look good. Meanwhile, the business is destroying people’s lives.’

Mr Geddes was suffering from schizophrenia when he took his own life

Mr Geddes was suffering from schizophrenia when he took his own life 

She branded the network ‘extremely hypocritical’ as it runs phones at a host of prisons in Canada but has been criticised for making calls for inmates too pricey.

Campaigners argue that it cuts prisoners off from vital counselling and conversations with their loved ones. 

The coroner at Mr Geddes’ inquest even called for a rethink of the phone systems to ‘make it easier for inmates to make outgoing phone calls’.

Amid the criticism, the network has taken to promoting a mental health campaign urging people to support one another through talking.

Last month the Sussexes gushed over their decision to back Bell Let’s Talk, telling social media followers: ‘Please share, please talk and be part of the solution’.

And they both opened up about how they had struggled mentally with Royal life in ITV’s documentary of their African tour.

But it appears Bell Canada is yet to make changes – sparking huge backlash from prisoner rights’ activists.

A spokesperson for the prisoners’ rights group has questioned why a network that deals with prisons, where people can develop mental health issues due to jail conditions, makes it harder for inmates to get help. 

They demanded that Bell Canada scraps its ‘inaccessible phone contract’ and warned that if they don’t everyone will realise all they care about it profit.

The Toronto Prisoners’ Rights Project said the network stands in the way of counselling and hits them with high phone charges.

The network charges at least $1 a call for local calls (58p), and up to $30 (£17.50) for a 20-minute long distance call. Inmates can only landlines.

Bell Canada said that the current contract expires in June and a new proposal has been submitted to the government.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.