Bell Let's Talk and Queen's University renew commitment to mental health research

  • $1 million Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair renewed
  • Reappointment of internationally renowned Queen's Professor Dr. Heather Stuart

KINGSTON, ON, Jan. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Bell Let's Talk and Queen's University today announced a $1 million gift to renew the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair. The inaugural holder of the world's first anti-stigma research chair, Dr. Heather Stuart, has been reappointed to the position for another 5-year term.

"The Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair positions Canada as a leader in advancing research into the pervasive stigma around mental illness, a significant barrier to treatment for many people. The support of Bell Let's Talk enables Dr. Stuart and her team to continue their important work in finding new ways to leave stigma behind," said Daniel Woolf, Queen's Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Stuart's advocacy work has led to greater awareness and the development of best practices in stigma reduction. Dr. Stuart has shared best practices in anti-stigma intervention and outreach with organizations around the country and internationally, including the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the World Psychiatric Association. Dr. Stuart brings her work to audiences across the country through public lectures including in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver to date.

"Bell Let's Talk is very proud to renew our partnership with Queen's and to support the continued work of Dr. Stuart and her team," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk initiative. "Since the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair was established in 2012, awareness of the stigma around mental illness and efforts to reduce it have enabled many more people to reach out and get the help they need."

While 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, two thirds of those will not seek treatment for fear of judgment or rejection. Working to end that stigma is a key pillar of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative, alongside access to care, research, and workplace mental health. In 2015, Dr. Stuart and Bell Let's Talk developed the 5 simple ways to help end the stigma around mental illness.

"I am extremely grateful for the support of Bell Let's Talk and Queen's and I look forward to continuing my work with partner organizations to develop and evaluate mental health best practices. This work will include significant knowledge exchange through speaking at conferences, consulting with policymakers and others, and publishing in peer reviewed scientific literature."

Tomorrow is Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell Let's Talk Day 2017 is January 25, when Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every text message, mobile call and long distance call made by Bell customers; every tweet and Instagram post using #BellLetsTalk; every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video on Facebook; and every use of the Bell Let's Talk geofilter on Snapchat.

Bell Let's Talk now has its own hashtag emoji on Twitter. Whenever you type #BellLetsTalk or #BellCause in Twitter, the Bell Let's Talk logo automatically appears at the end of the hashtag.

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 2016 set new records for engagement with 125.9 million messages of support, and Bell increased its funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75.

About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaign, like Bell Let's Talk Day, alongside significant Bell funding for community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit

About Queen's University
Queen's distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen's impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen's is addressing many of the world's greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines. Queen's University is a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. For more information, please visit

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Anne Craig
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SOURCE Bell Canada