Bell and Fondation Jeunesse-Vie support mental health in Québec with $2 million donation to Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital Foundation
Bell also donates $500,000 to Fondation les petits trésors and Fondation des maladies mentales as part of its national mental health initiative
MONTREAL, Nov. 9 2010 -- Bell and Fondation Jeunesse-Vie, founded by Québec entrepreneur and business leader Serge Godin, today announced a partnership to donate $1 million each to the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, a leading Montréal mental health care institution. This $2 million gift is the largest ever received by the hospital foundation, and it's the latest announcement in the national Bell Mental Health Initiative.
"Bell is very pleased to partner with renowned business leader and philanthropist Serge Godin to support Louis-H. Lafontaine in accelerating research into the most pressing health concern of our time: mental illness," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "The leading-edge initiatives planned by Louis-H. Lafontaine will make a positive difference not only to those who suffer directly from mental illness but also to all of us - their friends, families, colleagues and fellow citizens."
"I have been very impressed with Bell's ambitious national mental health initiative and its practical approach to dealing with an illness that adversely affects 1 in 5 Canadians directly, and all of us in some way," said Mr. Godin. "Partnering with Bell to fund the ground-breaking research efforts being undertaken by leading hospitals like Louis-H. Lafontaine fits perfectly with the goals of Fondation Jeunesse-Vie."
Mr. Godin is Founder and Executive Chairman of Montréal-based CGI Group, one of the largest independent IT services companies in the world. The Godin Family created Fondation Jeunesse-Vie in 2000 to improve the health and education prospects of disadvantaged children and teens across Canada. Since its inception, Fondation Jeunesse-Vie has supported more than 100 schools, hospitals and youth organizations.
This unprecedented $2 million grant to Louis-H. Lafontaine will support new research at the hospital's proposed Signature Centre, which will be operated by the hospital's Centre de recherche Fernand-Seguin (CRFS). Plans include research into new biometric and social measures, such as a new mental health "biobank" and laboratory for DNA/biomarker analysis that will be shared with researchers worldwide, and the development of social networking tools to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, 24/7 video access to a crisis centre, and enhanced access to care through remote monitoring.
"New research techniques and applications are revolutionizing how mental health care and access can be provided," said André Lemieux, Director General of the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital. "As a result of the extraordinary generosity of Bell and Mr. Godin, we are well on our way to making our new Signature Centre for research a world leader in helping those who suffer from mental illness." To learn more about Louis-H. Lafontaine's work, please visit www.hlhl.qc.ca.
Fondation les petits trésors and Fondation des maladies mentales
Bell also announced today two other mental health initiative donations totalling $500,000 to these Québec leaders in mental health community care and access:
- $300,000 to Fondation les petits trésors at l'Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, a treatment facility that specializes in providing care to young children suffering from mental illness: www.petitstresors.ca
- $200,000 to Fondation des maladies mentales, which will support the foundation's successful "Partners for Life" program, an initiative focused on informing teens about mental illness and identifying critical support resources: www.fondationdesmaladiesmentales.org
The Bell Mental Health Initiative
The Bell Mental Health Initiative, announced this September, is the largest-ever program undertaken by a Canadian corporation in support of mental health. The effort is focused on four key pillars: addressing the stigma surrounding mental health; improving community care and access; research support; and new workplace initiatives.
The facts of mental illness and its impact on Canadians are startling:
- At least one in five Canadians experiences a form of mental illness at some point in their lives - every one of us has a family member, friend or colleague who will experience mental illness
- Mental health funding is modest relative to other health care issues - mental illness represents 15% of Canada's health care burden but receives only 5% of health care funding
- Just one-third of Canadians who need mental health services actually receive them.
- Mental illness is the number one cause of workplace disability in Canada - accounting for 30% of disability claims and 70% of disability costs
- Mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion each year in lost productivity - every day, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to a form of mental illness.
- According to the World Health Organization, mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Canada, the U.S. and Western Europe.
Bell's initiative includes the national Bell Let's Talk Day fundraising event, led by national spokesperson Clara Hughes, the first of which will take place on February 9, 2011. For every text message sent and every long distance call made by Bell customers that day, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health.
Bell earlier announced $1 million in funding to enhance the Royal Ottawa Hospital's telepsychiatry program, and $1.16 million to support enhanced community care and access initiatives at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including Bell Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell Satellite TV and Bell Fibe TV, Bell Home Phone local and long distance, and Bell Business Markets IP-broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) services.
The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada via the Bell Let's Talk anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit bce.ca/mentalhealth. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For information on Bell products and services, please visit www.bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit www.bce.ca.
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For media inquiries, please contact:
Bell Media Relations
Louis-H. Lafontaine Media Relations
514-251 4000 ext. 2986
SOURCE Community & Sponsorship