Bell Let's Talk and Manitoba government enable expanded mental health services for young people throughout the province

Joint $1 million gift to the Strongest Families Institute

WINNIPEG, Jan. 15, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Let's Talk and the Manitoba government today announced a joint gift of $1 million over 5 years to the Strongest Families Institute (SFI) to expand mental health services for children, youth and their families throughout Manitoba.

"Bell Let's Talk is proud to support our partners at the Strongest Families Institute as they bring their experience in helping young people who struggle with mental health issues to Manitoba," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Working together with the Manitoba government, we are helping more families get access to the care and support they need through a successful model that will make a real difference in their lives."

"When families need help, they need it right away. The Strongest Families Institute has a proven track record of providing mental health care to children and youth that is effective, family-centered, timely and accessible to those living in rural and remote areas," said Cameron Friesen, Manitoba Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living. "We thank Bell Let's Talk for raising awareness of mental health issues and for its support of this new program in Manitoba."

SFI is an award-winning organization delivering evidence-based programs for children, youth and families dealing with mild to moderate mental illness and other health issues. Its unique distance coaching approach, which offers support for families day or night and in the privacy of their own homes, is also the only program of its kind in the country with a no-waitlist policy for families with children and youth.

"Strongest Families was designed to remove barriers to care so families receive help when and where they need it. Our skill-based approach has shown to be highly effective in reducing mental health issues early in life. We thank the Manitoba government and Bell Let's Talk for this generous gift so our SFI team can help children, youth and families in Manitoba lead happier healthier lives," said Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, president and CEO of Strongest Families Institute.

Approximately 1,000 families are expected to benefit from the service over the next 5 years. Services will be available in both English and French when SFI formally launches its programs later this month.

In 2017, Bell Let's Talk and all 4 Atlantic provinces partnered to support child and youth mental health across Atlantic Canada with a combined gift of $2 million to SFI.

Bell Let's Talk Day is January 30
Everyone is invited to join the conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day by sending messages of support across multiple platforms to drive both awareness and action in mental health.

Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of the following interactions, at no extra cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access:

  • Talk: Every mobile call and every long distance call made by Bell and Bell MTS wireless and phone customers
  • Text: Every text message sent by Bell and Bell MTS wireless customers
  • Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let's Talk emoji, and Bell Let's Talk Day video view at
  • Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at and use of the Bell Let's Talk frame
  • Instagram: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video view at
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk filter and video view

To learn more, please visit

Total Bell Let's Talk Day interactions since the first event in 2011 stand at 867,449,649 and are expected to exceed 1 billion on January 30. Bell's funding commitment for mental health, including the company's donations based on Bell Let's Talk engagement and its original $50-million donation to launch the initiative, is now $93,423,628.80 and expected to surpass $100 million on January 30.

About Strongest Families Institute
Strongest Families Institute (SFI) is an award-winning, charitable organization that was founded in Nova Scotia and is internationally recognized for its effective evidence-based programs for children, youth and families dealing with mild to moderate mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being. They provide timely, accessible care to families by teaching skills through a unique distance coaching approach – supporting families, in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Strongest Families provides family-centered care that is customized to their needs with programs designed to support children and youth from 3-17 years of age. For more information, please visit

About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let's Talk has partnered with more than 900 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including major donations to hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit

Media Inquiries:

Morgan Shipley
Bell MTS

Pam MacKinnon
Strongest Families Institute


SOURCE Bell Canada