Today is the 5th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, with Clara Hughes leading the campaign inviting all Canadians to talk, text and tweet about mental health and help build a Canada free of the stigma of mental illness.
“I’m really looking forward to kicking off the national conversation about mental health with Bell Let’s Talk Day 2015! Join us in the fight against the stigma that makes most who struggle with mental illness reluctant to ask for help,” said Clara, Canada’s 6-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let’s Talk ambassador since the launch of the initiative in 2010. “I welcome you to the national conversation tomorrow, and ask you to talk, text, tweet and share on Facebook to help drive Bell’s donations to mental health. Let those who face mental illness know you have their back – and let’s set another record!”
Join the conversation and help grow Bell’s donations Tomorrow on Bell Let’s Talk Day, for every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of that day’s Bell Let’s Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs.
“Each year, as the Bell Let’s Talk conversation continues to flourish, we further progress in reducing the stigma and growing Bell’s funding of the care and access, research and workplace programs that are making a real and positive difference the lives of so many Canadians,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. “On Bell Let’s Talk Day, please join in growing awareness and action in Canadian mental health.”
In 2014, Canadians answered the call with a total of 109,451,718 messages including texts, wireless and long distance calls, tweets and Facebook shares, meaning Bell added another $5,472,585.90 to its Bell Let’s Talk funding commitment. Based on its original $50 million donation and the results of the last 4 Bell Let’s Talk Days, Bell has now committed more than $67.5 million to Canadian mental health.
Bell’s donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let’s Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply.
5 simple ways to help end the stigma
This year’s Bell Let’s Talk’s campaign focuses on 5 simple ways we can all help end the stigma around mental illness:
- Language matters – pay attention to the words you use about mental illness
- Educate yourself – learn, know and talk more, understand the signs
- Be kind – small acts of kindness say a lot
- Listen and ask – sometimes it’s best to just listen
- Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence
“We worked with Dr. Heather Stuart of Queen’s University, the world’s first Chair in anti-stigma research, to help us develop 5 straightforward ways everyone can help end the stigma and support people struggling with mental illness,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Please use them to keep the conversation about mental health going all year round, and help Canada become a stigma-free nation.”
To learn more about the campaign, and to download the Bell Let’s Talk toolkit to help get the conversation started, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
The 2015 Bell Let’s Talk team This year, TSN host Michael Landsberg, comedian Howie Mandel and entertainer Mary Walsh have joined Clara and Québec spokespeople Stefie Shock and Michel Mpambara in the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.
The long-time host of TSN’s Off The Record, Michael Landsberg is a renowned advocate for mental health. Howie Mandel is the internationally known comedian, actor and TV host. Mary Walsh is a social activist, comedian and actor whose work includes the iconic news satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
A new Bell Let’s Talk ambassador, professional golfer Andrew Jensen, joins comedian and writer Kevin Breel, CFL veteran Shea Emry and musician Robb Nash as they all encourage Canadians to join them in the conversation about mental health.
Bell Let’s Talk 2015 Highlights January 27 – 29
Montréal Canadiens Hockey Talks game Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock and Olympian Alex Genest will take part in the Montréal Canadiens Hockey Talks game in support of mental health at the Bell Centre in Montréal. Bell Let’s Talk will be featured throughout the game and select fans will receive Bell Let’s Talk bracelets and toques.
Bell Let’s Talk and Cisco host nationwide student TelePresence events Clara Hughes and Michel Mpambara will lead live interactive webcasts linking schools nationwide to encourage youth to talk about mental health. In Toronto, Clara will be joined by Michael Landsberg and Kevin Breel. Joining Michel in Montreal will be Alex Genest, Josiane Babin of the Montreal Mental Illness Foundation’s Partners for Life program, and NRJ radio and television host Anais Favron, who will moderate the event.
Clara’s Big Ride Documentary CLARA’S BIG RIDE is a powerful documentary chronicling 6-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let’s Talk national spokesperson Clara Hughes’ epic 110-day bicycle journey to help build a Canada free of the stigma of mental illness.
CLARA’S BIG RIDE will premiere in primetime on Bell Let’s Talk Day. It will be available all day on CraveTV and CTV.ca, before airing at 7:00 pm ET/PT in super-simulcast on CTV and CTV Two and live-streamed on CTV GO.
Toronto Raptors game in support of Bell Let’s Talk Clara will attend the Toronto Raptors game. The first 10,000 fans who arrive at the game will receive Bell Let’s Talk toques. Bell Let`s Talk will be featured throughout the game and fans will be encouraged to continue the conversation about mental health by calling, texting and tweeting.
Canadian Armed Forces mental health awareness event Bell Let’s Talk ambassador Andrew Jensen will participate in a panel discussion about mental health at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa from 11 – 11 30 am.
Bell Hockey Talks mental health in support of D.I.F.D (Do It For Daron) Clara will join the Ottawa Senators and the Dallas Stars at centre ice for the ceremonial puck drop during the youth mental health awareness night at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa (TSN, 7 pm ET). Fans will receive Bell Let’s Talk & D.I.F.D mittens when they arrive at the game.
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative Bell Let’s Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars – anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. The initiative supports mental health leaders across the country including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne, Montreal Jewish Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the University of British Columbia, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Queen’s University, La Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Concordia University, Brain Canada, Kids Help Phone, Sunnybrook Hospital, Université Laval Foundation, CHU Sainte-Justine and Vancouver General Hospital.
Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund The annual Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports organizations in Canada focused on improving access to programs and services that support and help improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living with mental health issues from coast to coast to coast with grants in the range of $5,000 to $50,000. Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. The 2015 application period is open until March 31 and all 2015 Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2015.
To apply for 2015 funding, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.