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It's Bell Let's Talk Day! Let's talk, text, tweet and share about mental health

  • Join Clara Hughes, the Bell Let's Talk team and Canadians everywhere in taking the national conversation about mental health to the next level
  • Talking about mental health helps build a stigma-free Canada – and your calls and messages drive Bell's donations to mental health programs all year round
  • Watch The Prime Minister @ The Social: A Bell Let's Talk Day Special, a conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau airing at 7 pm
  • Clara, Serena Ryder, Étienne Boulay, Marie-Soleil Dion, Michael Landsberg, Howie Mandel, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock, Mary Walsh, Bell Let's Talk Chair Mary Deacon and many others in the community will talk about mental health in media and at events across Canada
  • Learn the 5 simple ways to help fight the stigma around mental illness
  • Please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to learn more and download the toolkit

MONTRÉAL, Jan. 27, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today is the sixth annual Bell Let's Talk Day in support of Canadian mental health, and Olympian and Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson Clara Hughes wants you to join her in talking loud and clear about Canada's mental health. Remember, your calls and messages today help drive Bell's donations to support Canadian mental health programs throughout the year – at no extra charge to you.

"Bell Let's Talk Day is here! Today, I invite you to talk, text, tweet and share to help fight the stigma around mental illness and let those who struggle know they have our support," said Clara, Canada's 6-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let's Talk spokesperson since the launch of the initiative in 2010. "There's so much happening today all around the country in support of mental health and I invite you to join in wherever you are. Visit the Bell Let's Talk web site and be sure to call or message a friend to talk about mental health. Share the 5 simple ways to help end the stigma. Add #BellLetsTalk to all your tweets. Let's make sure everyone in Canada living with a mental illness hears our voices of support!"

"Your calls and messages drive up Bell's funding for mental health initiatives nationwide, supporting more than 600 organizations large and small since we started Bell Let's Talk in 2010. Last year, Bell increased its donation by over $6 million5 cents for each of the more than 122 million messages we all shared on Bell Let's Talk Day 2015. That's a pile of nickels almost 400 CN Towers high. Let's add another tower this year!"

It's easy to join the conversation
Today 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 today's Bell Let's Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs. 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.

Bell Let's Talk Day 2015 set new records, with 122,150,772 interactions and an increase in Bell's donation of $6,107,538.60. #BellLetsTalk was the number 1 twitter trend in Canada and worldwide on Bell Let's Day 2015 last year, and the second most popular Canadian hashtag in all of 2015 after the federal election.

What's happening on Bell Let's Talk Day 2016

Many media outlets and other organizations across the country will discuss mental health today, including Bell Media which marks Bell Let's Talk Day with more than 80 hours of programming dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging the dialogue about mental health. That includes The Prime Minister @ The Social: A Bell Let's Talk Day Special, a conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau airing at 7 pm on CTV, CTV Two, CTV GO and CTV.ca.

Throughout the day, special mental health-themed programming will air on CTV, CTV Two, BNN, Bravo, CP24, CTV News Channel, Discovery, E!, Much, RDS, Space, TSN, CraveTV, Much Digital Studios, and TheLoop.ca, as well as additional Bell Media digital, radio, and local TV properties. Clara and other Bell Let's Talk Day spokespeople, along with mental health experts from across Canada, are being featured on Bell Media's programming today.

Local CTV stations and radio outlets across Canada are also engaging their communities in the conversation by examining mental health issues from a local perspective.

Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston visit Mental Health Services in Canada's Capital Region 
Their Excellencies are visiting Lanark County Mental Health in Carleton Place, Ontario and The First Peoples Innovation Centre, in Gatineau, Québec.

Raptors 905 game in support of Bell Let's Talk
Michael Landsberg and Kevin Breel will attend the Raptors 905 game at 11 am ET at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga where 4,000 young people will receive Bell Let's Talk thundersticks.

Canadian Armed Forces mental health awareness event
Bell Let's Talk ambassador Séan McCann will participate in a panel discussion about mental health moderated by CTV's Kevin Newman at CFB Petawawa at 1 pm ET.

Vancouver Board of Trade Bell Let's Talk webinar 
Bell Let's Talk ambassador Andrew Jensen will participate in a webinar about mental health at 10 am PT.

Mary Walsh in Atlantic Canada
Mary will meet with staff at the IWK Health Centre to talk about mental health and promote the campaign. Along with Halifax Mayor, Mike Savage, Mary will drop the puck during the opening ceremonies for the Bell Let's Talk AUS men's hockey game – Saint Mary's Huskies visit the Dalhousie Tigers at the Halifax Forum at 7 pm AT.

Atlantic University Sport games in support of Bell Let's Talk
In addition to the Huskies-Tigers game, 3 more AUS hockey games will feature Bell Let's Talk:

  • The StFX X-Men visit the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville at 7 pm AT
  • Moncton Aigles Bleus visit the UPEI Panthers in Charlottetown at 7 pm AT
  • The St. Thomas Tommies visit the UNB Varsity Reds in Fredericton at 7 pm AT

All 4 AUS hockey games on Bell Let's Talk Day will air on Bell Aliant FibreOP TV 1.

The 2016 Bell Let's Talk team
"We can't thank this awesome Bell Let's Talk team enough for leading conversations about mental health with Canadians all around the country, and for sharing their own personal stories. Their willingness to open up and talk candidly about mental health is truly inspiring, and key to making a difference in the conversation," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk.

Clara Hughes leads a Bell Let's Talk team that includes TSN host Michael Landsberg, comedian Howie Mandel, entertainer Mary Walsh, and Québec personalities Stefie Shock and Michel Mpambara. New to the team for 2016 are singer-songwriter Serena Ryder, actor Marie-Soleil Dion and retired CFL player Étienne Boulay.

Bell Let's Talk ambassadors professional golfer Andrew Jensen, comedian and writer Kevin Breel, CFL veteran Shea Emry, and musician Robb Nash return to the team again this year as well, sharing their own mental health stories and encouraging Canadians to add their voices to the conversation. Bell Let's Talk is also pleased to welcome two more new voices this year, Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock and singer-songwriter Séan McCann.

5 simple ways to fight the stigma around mental illness
The Bell Let's Talk's campaign continues to build on the 5 simple ways to fight the stigma of mental illness developed by Dr. Heather Stuart, the first Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen's University. Learning the 5 ways enables anyone to engage in conversations about mental health in a manner that helps those living with mental illness and its stigma.

  • 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 speak a lot
  • Listen and ask – sometimes it's best to just listen
  • Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence

Bell Let's Talk Community Fund
The annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund supports organizations focused on improving access to programs and services to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living with mental health issues from coast to coast to coast. Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund. The 2016 application period is open until March 31 and all 2016 Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2016. To apply for 2016 funding, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

To learn more about the campaign, or to download the Bell Let's Talk toolkit and help get the conversation started, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About Bell Let's Talk
Bell Let's Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars - anti-stigma, care and access, new research, and workplace best practices. Bell Let's Talk was originally launched in September 2010 as a 5-year program with a $50 million donation from Bell, and a commitment to grow its funding though the engagement of Canadians in the cause on Bell Let's Talk Day. Bell donates 5 cents for messages of support sent on Bell Let's Talk Day, including calls, texts, shares and tweets.

With approximately 470 million of these interactions by Canadians over the last 5 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell's total commitment to mental health has grown to $73,623,413.80. Since 2010, Bell Let's Talk has supported more than 600 organizations from the largest healthcare institutions and universities to the smallest grassroots mental health organizations in every province and territory. In September 2015, Bell announced it would extend Bell a further 5 years and commit to at least $100 million in funding for Canadian mental health.

A 2015 Nielsen survey undertaken on behalf of Bell Let's Talk found that 81% of Canadians were more aware of mental health issues than 5 years ago, 70% think attitudes about mental health have changed for the better, and 57% believe the stigma around mental illness has been reduced.

The numbers are even more impressive among young people aged 18 to 24: 87% are more aware of mental health issues than 5 years ago, 79% think attitudes are better, and 65% believe stigma has been reduced.

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis
613 785-1427
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
@Bell_News

 

SOURCE Bell Canada


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