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Press release from CNW Group

Bell Let's Talk Day is tomorrow: Join the mental health conversation!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bell Let's Talk Day is tomorrow: Join the mental health conversation!

09:00 EST Monday, January 27, 2014
  • Clara Hughes invites you to talk about mental health to help break the stigma
  • Join in and Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health for your texts, calls and tweets
  • Learn more at Bell.ca/LetsTalk

MONTREAL, Jan. 27, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Tomorrow is the 4th annual day Bell Let's Talk Day, when Canadians will come together to talk, text, and tweet about mental health to help fight the stigma around mental illness.

"Hello everyone! Really looking forward to joining with you tomorrow to help make Canada's mental health better," said Clara Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson. "The mental health cause has come a long way in the last four years and I know we can keep the momentum rolling by talking, texting, tweeting and sharing like never before on Bell Let's Talk Day!"

Join the conversation and Bell gives more to mental health
On Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents for every text, mobile call, and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of that day's Bell Let's Talk Day image. 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. In 2013, Canadians answered Clara's call with a total of 96,266,266 texts, calls, tweets and Facebook shares, meaning Bell Let's Talk added another $4,813,313.30 to its total donation commitment.

Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Talks official puck drop with Clara
In celebration of Bell Let's Talk Day, Clara will join the Toronto Maple Leafs at centre ice for the official puck drop at tomorrow night's game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Air Canada Centre (TSN, 7:00pm eastern). Fans are encouraged to continue the conversation about mental health during the Hockey Talks for mental health game by calling, texting and tweeting.

Kids Help Phone and Bell Let's Talk connect with students
Kids Help Phone and Bell Let's Talk representatives including Clara Hughes are visiting schools in Toronto and Montréal on Bell Let's Talk Day. At CCSE Maisonneuve and Northern Secondary School, students will learn about mental health and essential supports like Kids Help Phone, the anonymous and confidential phone and online professional counselling service for youth.

The Bell Let's Talk team
Joining Clara this year are Bell Let's Talk partners TV personality Seamus O'Regan, comedians Michel Mpambara and Kevin Breel, musicians Stefie Shock, Matthew Good and Robb Nash, and athletes Shea Emry, Joé Juneau, and Andy O'Brien. Together, the Bell Let's Talk team is encouraging Canadians to join them in the growing conversation about mental health in media, schools and other public appearances.

The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative
While 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetimes, 2 in 3 suffer in silence for fear of being judged or rejected because of the continuing stigma.

"Mental illness costs our national economy more than $52 billion a year with  more than 500,000 Canadians missing work every day because of a mental health issue," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. "Mental illness touches everyone in our society in some way and should concern all of us. On Bell Let's Talk Day, please join in ending the stigma and ensuring Canadians facing mental illness are able to get the help they need."

4 Action Pillars
Launched in 2010, the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is built around 4 action pillars - anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. Bell Let's Talk is working to end the stigma by inviting all Canadians to talk openly and supportively about mental illness, while providing significant funding to leading mental health institutions and grassroots organizations in every province and territory, championing new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research at Canadian universities and other institutions.

Bell has now committed $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health based on its original $50-million donation plus the results of the last 3 Bell Let's Talk Days: $3,303,961.80 in 2011; $3,926,014.20 in 2012; and $4,813,313.30 in 2013.

The newest Bell Let's Talk partners
Bell Let's Talk partners with a growing number of mental health leaders across the country. So far this year, Bell Let's Talk has announced a $2.5 million donation for Kids Help Phone to support the mental health of young people in Canada; the $1 million Bell Canada Chair in Adolescent Mood & Anxiety Disorders at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto; $225,000 for the Université Laval Foundation in Québec City to support student mental health; and, in partnership with Morneau Shepell and Queen's University, Canada's first university-certified workplace mental health training program in support of Canada's National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Bell Let's Talk also engages the entire Bell team across the country. Employees are participating in online and in-person discussions and learning sessions with mental health experts and people living with mental illness, and asking friends, family and business partners to join the conversation. During the weeks leading up to Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell retail outlets across Canada have featured Bell Let's Talk displays and Bell team members have been wearing Bell Let's Talk shirts and lanyards to spread the message. The Bell fleet has been enlisted too, with thousands of Bell service vehicles sporting Bell Let's Talk flags.

Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

2014 applications are now being accepted for the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, which each year provides grants of $5,000 to $50,000 to organizations, hospitals and agencies focused on improving access to mental health care in their communities in every region of Canada. Grants support capacity-building projects aimed at creating or expanding programs that provide front-line support and/or reduce the stigma for those impacted by mental health issues. The $1-million annual Fund has now invested in more than 160 local organizations in every province and territory of Canada.

To learn more please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk
Soon after Bell Let's Talk Day, Clara Hughes will set out on Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk. Supporting local mental health initiatives by community groups, schools and other local organizations in every province and territory, Clara's 110-day journey around Canada by bicycle begins March 14, spans 12,000 kilometres and will visit 95 Canadian communities, concluding in Ottawa on Canada Day, July 1.

For more information, please visit Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca

SOURCE Bell Canada

For further information:

Media inquiries: 

Jacqueline Michelis
Bell Media Relations
1- 855-785-1427
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
@Bell_News

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