Bell Let’s Talk
Bell Let’s Talk launched in September 2010 as a five-year, $50 million program to help create a stigma-free Canada and drive action in mental health care, research, and the workplace. Bell extended its commitment to mental health by another 5 years and at least $100 million, with total current commitment in excess of $86.5 million. From its inception, Bell Let’s Talk has been the single largest corporate commitment to mental health in Canada.
Bell Let’s Talk is helping Canada move mental health forward based on four action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, new research and workplace leadership. Through the program, we are making a tangible difference for Canadians in a variety of ways, including:
Care and access
Bell Let’s Talk has funded more than 700 partner organizations.
In early 2017, Bell Let’s Talk renewed its $1 million funding for the world’s first and only mental health and anti-stigma research chair at Queen’s University. Our research contributions also include $2 million to Canada’s only brain bank, expanding the Douglas-Bell Brain Bank; and support for Canada’s next generation top talent through a $1 million research training fund in partnership with Brain Canada.
As a leading employer, Bell has set an example as a funder and an early adopter of the voluntary National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. We have also developed best practices for workplace health, including an enhanced return-to-work program, easy access to information, resources for team members, and the creation of a culture of support. For more details on workplace health initiatives, please refer to the Mental health in the workplace segment in the Workplace section of this report.
Another record Bell Let’s Talk Day
People across the country and around the world continue to join the Bell Let’s Talk Day conversation in unprecedented numbers, helping to reduce stigma and make the future brighter for the millions of Canadians affected by mental illness.
On January 25, 2017, during the seventh Bell Let’s Talk Day, Canadians and people worldwide responded with a record 131,705,00 texts, calls, tweets and interactions on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in support of mental health. With Bell donating 5 cents for every interaction, this added $6,585,250.50 to our commitment to Canadian mental health, which has now reached $86,504,429.05.
This year again, Serena Ryder, Marie-Soleil Dion and Étienne Boulay added their voices to those of Clara Hughes, Michael Landsberg, Howie Mandel, Mary Walsh, Michel Mpambara and Stefie Shock to the Bell Let’s Talk campaign spokespeople. They were supported by dozens of corporations (including competitors), major sports teams and non-profit organizations such as university sport conferences and others.
Thanks to international media coverage, especially on Bell Media properties, many prominent Canadian and global figures joined millions of Canadians in the Twitter conversation. In fact, #BellLetsTalk was the #1 Twitter trend in Canada and worldwide on that day.
Our commitment to Canadian mental health has now reached $86,504,429.05
Bell Let’s Talk funds several new mental health projects
Bell continued to invest in a broad selection of innovative programs aimed at improving care and access to care for those with mental health issues. Our major new commitments in 2016 and early 2017 included:
$1 million, matched by provincial government funding in each Atlantic province, to expand the work of the Strongest Families Institute in the region
$300,000 to 2 health foundations in Québec’s Lanaudière region to develop services tailored to clients in the region with mental health challenges
$250,000<span"> to McGill University’s Montréal Neurological Institute and Hospital to help improve access to mental health services focused on the needs of multicultural communities
$250,000 in partnership with Northwestel for a mental health program to be delivered by Nunavut’s Embrace Life Council
$150,000 for St. John Ambulance to incorporate a mental health module in its first aid courses
$1 million in one-time grants of up to $25,000 to 72 additional community organizations through the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund to improve access to mental health services at the local level
$250,000 in one-time grants to 13 community organizations through the Bell True Patriot Love Fund providing mental health support to military families and veterans across Canada.
Other partnerships include:
$150,000 for the Nunatsiavut Government’s Aullak sangilivallianginnatuk – Going Off, Growing Strong program to enhance mental health services for youth in Nain
$1 million to Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia Hospital Foundation to support the new Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre, the largest purpose-built mental health facility in British Columbia
$1 million to the Fondation de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec (FIUSMQ) to support ground-breaking research in biological diagnostics for early detection of mental illness through the retina
$1 million from Bell Let’s Talk and RBC to Rise Asset Development to facilitate the expansion of Rise programs across Ontario, providing 50 new low-interest small business loans and training and mentorship to men and women with a history of addiction or mental health challenges
$500,000 in partnership with CHU Sainte-Justine to enable Québec’s First Integrated Mother-Child Centre for Eating Disorders to open a day hospital that will provide an intermediate level of care
$500,000 in partnership with the government of Yukon and Northwestel for the FRIENDS cognitive behaviour group- based intervention program providing mental health prevention and treatment services for adolescents at risk
$150,000 in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross for new training to help both first responders and the general public provide mental health support in emergency situations.
In early 2016, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Bell Let’s Talk launched the Portico Network, an online interactive platform that connects health and community service providers to the latest clinical tools, resources and information about treating mental illness and addiction.