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SOURCE Bell Canada
MONTREAL, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Today is Bell Let's Talk Day, and Clara Hughes and the Bell Let's Talk team invite you to talk, text and tweet to help break the stigma around mental illness and drive action in Canadian mental health.
"Hey Canada, let's talk! I really hope you can join in the conversation about mental health and make a real difference in the lives of so many Canadians, today and into the future," said Clara, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let's Talk spokesperson. "While 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, 2 in 3 suffer in silence because of the continuing stigma. You can help people get the support they need by talking openly and positively about mental health - while increasing Bell's donations to the cause at no extra charge to you."
Today, Bell will donate 5 cents for every text, mobile call, and long distance call by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the 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, long distance calls, tweets and Facebook shares, adding another $4,813,313.30 to Bell's donation total.
Clara drops the puck at tonight's Maple Leafs game
Tonight, Clara will do the official puck drop at the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Talks game for mental health at the Air Canada Centre (TSN, 7pm eastern). Fans can take part in the conversation and support mental health during the game by talking, texting and tweeting.
The Bell Let's Talk Team
The Bell Let's Talk team keeps growing, with a host of prominent Canadians joining in on the mental health conversation today. 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 are taking part in events across the country including media discussions and school visits to engage young people in the mental health cause.
"In the lead up to Bell Let's Talk Day, Canadians all across the country have been talking about mental health like never before," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Together we are making incredible progress in fighting the stigma and improving access to mental health care. Let's keep the conversation going!"
In addition to talking, texting, tweeting and sharing, everyone can be part of the Bell Let's Talk conversation by watching coverage of mental health issues on various Bell Media properties, many of which will also feature regular on-screen updates of Bell Let's Talk text, Twitter, mobile and long distance call activity.
Bell Let's Talk Conversation Toolkit
To help Canadians take the conversation further, Bell Let's Talk has also launched a new and improved version of its popular toolkit for discussing mental health.
Prepared by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the new toolkit offers information and resources on how to facilitate conversations in your community, as well as guidelines on how to have conversations with people who you are concerned may be facing a mental health issue. Consisting of a facilitator's guide, handouts to help lead group sessions, and conversation starters for one-to-one discussions, the toolkit is now available at Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell Let's Talk in action
As part of this year's campaign, Bell Let's Talk recently announced 4 new mental health partnerships: 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.
The $1-million annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund provides grants of $5,000 to $50,000 to local organizations, hospitals and agencies focused on improving access to mental health care in their communities in every region of Canada. Applications for the 2014 Fund are now open. To learn more please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
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.
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.
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
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