Bell Let's Talk ambassadors Clara Hughes, Michel Mpambara, Seamus
O'Regan and Stefie Shock lead the discussion about mental health
Take part and Bell will donate - for every text and long distance call
made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #Bell
LetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk image, Bell
donates 5 cents more to mental health programs
Learn how you can join the campaign by visiting Bell.ca/LetsTalk
MONTREAL, Feb. 12, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Today is Bell Let's Talk Day, the
annual event when Canadians from coast to coast to coast join Clara
Hughes and the Bell Let's Talk team in a national conversation about
mental health to help end the stigma around mental illness.
"It's time to talk Canada! Join me in the discussion about mental
illness and we'll make a real difference in the lives of friends,
colleagues, family members and all the other Canadians who struggle
with the disease," said Clara Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic
medalist and national ambassador for Bell Let's Talk. "Fighting the
stigma is the first and most important step in moving mental health
forward. By talking openly, we're letting those who suffer know there
is support and understanding, and that our focus is helping them get
Two out of 3 people affected by mental health issues still suffer in
silence for fear of being judged or rejected because of the continuing
Bell Let's Talk Day is the culmination of a national promotional
campaign that started January 14, featuring Clara along with author,
composer and performer Stefie Shock, actor-comedian Michel Mpambara
and, new to the team this year, CTV personality Seamus O'Regan. In
addition to the multimedia ad campaign, all 4 Bell Let's Talk
ambassadors are engaging directly with Canadians at events across the
country, to get people talking about mental health. Working with Kids
Help Phone for example, Bell Let's Talk is visiting schools in
Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and St. John's to get
young people engaged in the mental health discussion.
Here's how you can join the conversation!
Bell Let's Talk Day invites all Canadians to help end the stigma around
mental illness by talking openly about mental health issues. And
Canadians have responded.
Bell this year launched an online conversation toolkit on
Bell.ca/LetsTalk. Thousands of people and organizations have downloaded
the toolkit or ordered it directly from Bell. As a result, today more
Canadians than ever will be learning about mental health and helping to
end the stigma at thousands of events at universities and colleges,
hockey arenas, military bases, community centres, social service
agencies, and boardrooms.
"We have been overwhelmed by the response to Bell Let's Talk Day this
year," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental health
initiative. "To see so many conversations about mental health happening
shows the progress we're all making in ending the stigma and ensuring
Canadians suffering from mental illness aren't afraid to get the
treatment they need."
Bell Let's Talk Day also accelerates Bell's funding for new mental
health initiatives. For every text message and long distance call made
by Bell and Bell Aliant customers today (regular long distance charges
and text charges apply), every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk
Day image and every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate another
5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health.
Throughout the day, various Bell Media properties will feature regular
updates on-screen of text, Twitter and long distance call activity,
representing both the spreading conversation, and the additional funds
to be dedicated to mental health by Bell. Last year, Canadians
responded with 78,520,284 texts, long-distance calls and retweets - a
19% increase over the first Bell Let's Talk Day in 2011 - resulting in
an additional Bell donation of $3,926,014.20 to Canadian mental health.
Bell Let's Talk partners
Mental illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $50 billion in
lost productivity annually. It is the reason approximately 500,000
Canadians are away from work today.
This year, Bell was pleased to support the launch of a new national
standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace: Psychological Health and safety in the Workplace - Prevention, promotion
and guidance to staged implementation. The first of its kind in the world, the voluntary Standard offers
guidance to Canadian businesses and organizations for addressing mental
health and mental illness in the workplace and Bell is proud to be
among the first to commit to it. As part of that commitment, today Bell
team members will learn more about mental health from leading experts
speaking at events and leading webchats at Bell locations across
Reflecting the impact mental illness has on all of us, many Canadian
media, sports and communications companies also stepped up to support
and promote Bell Let's Talk this year, including a number of Bell
competitors. Also this year, all 7 Canadian NHL teams have dedicated
February to their own mental health initiative, Hockey Talks. Bell is pleased to be a partner of the Montréal Canadiens, Toronto
Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators for their mental health game nights.
The combined efforts of hundreds of Canadian businesses, government
agencies and community organizations are multiplying the positive
impact of the Bell Let's Talk campaign at an ever-increasing rate.
Bell Let's Talk in action
During the lead up to this year's Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell announced 3
new mental health partnerships. In Québec, Bell contributed $500,000 to
La Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) to
upgrade its acute psychiatric care unit, and another $500,000 to
Concordia University's Department of Psychology to subsidize therapy
and assessment at the university's Applied Psychology Centre and Centre
for Clinical Research in Health. On February 8 in Vancouver, Bell
announced a $500,000 gift to Brain Canada to help fund the $1 milllion
Bell Mental Health Research Training Awards supporting talented young
Canadian mental health researchers.
These new gifts are in addition to previously announced contributions to
the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Douglas Mental Health University
Institute, Hôpital Louis-H Lafontaine, the Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health (CAMH), Queen's University, the University of British
Columbia and other leading institutions and organizations.
In January, Bell announced the 2013 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, the
annual $1-million annual fund that supports grassroots mental health
organizations throughout Canada. In 2012, Bell Let's Talk supported 60
mental health organizations in communities across the country with
grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a 5-year, $50-million
charitable program based on 4 action pillars: Anti-stigma, care and
access, research, and workplace best practices. To learn more about
Bell Let's Talk, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and
business with solutions to all their communications needs: Bell
Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell Satellite TV and Bell
Fibe TV, Bell Home Phone local and long distance, and Bell Business
Markets broadband network, ICT and data hosting services. Bell Media is
Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television,
radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE:
BCE). For Bell products and services, please visit Bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca.
SOURCE: Bell Canada