Bell Let's Talk supports Montréal organizations in delivering mental health services to homeless people

$300,000 donation to Accueil Bonneau, Old Brewery Mission and Welcome Hall Mission

MONTRÉAL, Jan. 30, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Let's Talk today announced a $300,000 donation to Accueil Bonneau, Welcome Hall Mission and the Old Brewery Mission to support their work caring for those coping with homelessness in Montréal.

In partnership with the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal and the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, the organizations will expand the Programme de réaffiliation en itinérance et santé mentale (PRISM), which provides sustained access to mental health care for homeless people with severe mental illness.

Martine Turcotte, Bell's Vice Chair Québec, and Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante announced the donation this morning at the Old Brewery Mission to mark Bell Let's Talk Day.

"Bell Let's Talk is proud to partner with these fantastic organizations to improve mental health services for homeless people in Montréal," said Ms. Turcotte. "By joining forces, Accueil Bonneau, Welcome Hall Mission and the Old Brewery Mission, together with the CIUSSS, are creating a model for innovative mental health care that will make such a difference for some of the most vulnerable in our community."

"I would like to thank Bell for investing in Montréal's community organizations which have developed critical expertise in helping the homeless," said Ms. Plante. "To adapt services to the specific needs of those suffering from mental illness, we need more innovative, partnership-based projects like PRISM that bring together stakeholders from the community, the municipalities and the public and private sectors."

PRISM supports homeless men and women diagnosed with severe mental disorders with transitional housing for 6 to 8 weeks, during which they receive care from a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, nurses and social workers from the CIUSSS, as well as community advisors and support workers. The focus is on improving the participants' mental health as a starting point for their social reintegration and access to stable and affordable housing. PRISM provides 42 beds across the 3 organizations, now including accommodation for women at Old Brewery Mission's Patricia Mackenzie Pavilion.

"Before PRISM was launched in 2013 as a pilot project at Old Brewery Mission, homeless people with debilitating mental health issues were systematically neglected," said Dr. Olivier Farmer, a psychiatrist at Hôpital Notre-Dame and co-founder of PRISM. "Thanks to the partnership with these 3 shelters, our mental health professionals are able to care for homeless people where they are, where they are welcome and where we know they won't be forgotten. With an average of 75% of participants moving into stable housing, PRISM is something we can all be proud of."

"Mental health care remains a crucial component in the social reintegration of homeless people and PRISM has proven effective in providing that care," said Aubin Boudreau, Executive Director of Accueil Bonneau. "Some 70% of Accueil Bonneau's clients are dealing with some kind of mental illness, and today's donation by Bell Let's Talk will allow our organizations to continue our efforts to offer special resources to a clientele that is all too often marginalized."

"We are focused on ending chronic homelessness in Montréal," said Samuel Watts, CEO and Executive Director of Welcome Hall Mission. "With the PRISM program, and our partnership with the CIUSSS, we are providing an essential health service to homeless people who face a high prevalence of mental health challenges, while respecting their dignity. We have already seen incredible results at Welcome Hall Mission and we thank Bell Let's Talk for helping us continue our mission."

"I would like to thank Bell Let's Talk for supporting PRISM and its model of inter-sector collaboration," said Matthew Pearce, President and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission. "To adequately address the complex links between mental illness and homelessness, we need new approaches like PRISM that offers a promising new model for changing systems that used to seem set in stone."

Today is Bell Let's Talk Day
Accueil Bonneau, Welcome Hall Mission, Old Brewery Mission, CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, and CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal join Bell in inviting everyone to get involved in the conversation about mental health on Bell Let's Talk Day.

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

  • Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
  • Text: Every text message sent by Bell 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 an all-time total of 1 billion today. Bell's funding commitment for mental health, including the company's donations based on Bell Let's Talk Day engagement and its original $50-million donation to launch the initiative, is now $93,423,628.80 and expected to surpass $100 million today.

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.

About Accueil Bonneau 
Founded in Montréal in 1877, Accueil Bonneau welcomes homeless people or people at risk of homelessness by supporting them on a daily basis in meeting their basic needs and helping them achieve a better quality of life and well-being, towards a goal of social reintegration and residential stability. Thanks to programs adapted to the needs of its clients, such as access to physical and mental health care, housing assistance and job search support, Accueil Bonneau is one of the largest day centres for homeless people or people at risk of becoming homeless in the Montréal area.

About Welcome Hall Mission 
Established in 1892, Welcome Hall Mission has become the largest doorway to help for Montréalers in need. Many programs are available to support the homeless, families and at-risk mothers and youth. Welcome Hall Mission provides hope through concrete actions and effective solutions.

About the Old Brewery Mission 
Founded in 1889, the Old Brewery Mission is the largest resource for homeless men in Québec and for homeless women in Canada. It offers emergency services, as well as a range of adapted programs in physical and mental health, housing, psychosocial support and research to end homelessness.

Media inquiries

Caroline Audet

Andrée Gendron
Accueil Bonneau
514-845-3906, ext. 303

Chelsea Dufort
Welcome Hall Mission
514-523-5288, ext. 326

Melissa Bellerose
Old Brewery Mission

SOURCE Bell Canada