MONTRÉAL – Bell today announced the launch of the $1-million annual Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for 2016. Applications are now being accepted for grants for community-based mental health initiatives improving access to care around the country.
“The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is focused on improving access to care for people living with mental health issues through local projects and grassroots organizations in communities all around Canada,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Over the last 5 years we have seen so many wonderful initiatives that have truly made a difference in the lives of Canadians and we are delighted to invite many more local mental health organizations to apply for grants again this year.”
Since 2011, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported more than 250 community groups in every region of Canada. Registered not-for-profit organizations and registered charities are invited to apply for a grant to help fund local mental health programs. Applications are reviewed by mental health experts from across Canada. The 2016 application period runs until March 31 and 2016 Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2016.
“It is important to recognize that we need to take care of our mental health the same way as we take care of our physical health. However, mental health sometimes gets overlooked,” said the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health. “The Bell Let’s Talk initiative has been successfully opening up the dialogue on mental health in Canada. I congratulate Bell, its partners and Canadians who are sharing their personal struggles with mental illness as a way of encouraging everyone to get involved in finding solutions.”
“Northern Ontarians deserve healthy communities that promote good mental health and well-being, as well as a responsive, culturally appropriate mental health care delivery system. This does not yet exist in all our Northern Ontario communities,” said Dr. Catherine Cervin, Associate Dean, Postgraduate Education, at Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). “With funding from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, NOSM is creating Wellness Peer Networks to provide further education to NOSM residents to enable them to protect their own mental health during the stress of their education, while also equipping them with the ability to provide high-quality care to future patients who may be struggling with mental health challenges. We are grateful for the support of Bell Let’s Talk in developing a healthier Northern Ontario.”
To learn more about the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund and the projects it has funded, or to apply for 2016 funding, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.