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SOURCE Bell Canada
MONTREAL, Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today launched the 2014 Bell Let's Talk campaign in support of Canadian mental health, highlighted by the fourth annual Bell Let's Talk Day on January 28. National spokesperson Clara Hughes again leads the campaign inviting all Canadians to talk, text and tweet about mental health to help end the stigma around mental illness and support mental health initiatives around the country.
"Canadians everywhere are talking about mental health like never before. I'm proud that Bell Let's Talk has been part of the progress, working to help reduce the stigma by engaging everyone in the mental health conversation. Let's keep the momentum rolling by talking like never before!" said Ms. Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let's Talk ambassador since the initiative launched in 2010. "We all have family members, friends or colleagues who will experience mental illness or we may struggle ourselves, as I have - yet most people impacted still won't seek support because they fear admitting they need help. By talking openly and supportively about mental illness, we can all help break the stigma and improve Canadian mental health."
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. Bell Let's Talk is working to end the stigma 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.
"Mental illness has a huge impact on the lives of individual Canadians, like the more than 500,000 who will miss work today because of a mental health issue, and on our national economy with an overall financial cost surpassing $52 billion a year," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. "On Bell Let's Talk Day, we invite you to join us in lending support to those facing mental illness and the caregivers, researchers and community leaders at the forefront of improving Canadian mental health."
Get engaged and help drive Bell Let's Talk donations
In addition to its original $50-million commitment, Bell has pledged to increase Bell Let's Talk funding based on the growing engagement of Canadians in the mental health movement on Bell Let's Talk Day.
On January 28, for every text message and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk at @Bell_LetsTalk, and every Facebook share of that day's Bell Let's Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to programs dedicated to mental health.
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, meaning Bell Let's Talk added another $4,813,313.30 to its funding total. 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 Bell Let's Talk team grows
Joining Clara in the Bell Let's Talk campaign again this year are Atlantic Canada's Seamus O'Regan, Québec spokespeople Stefie Shock and Michel Mpambara and these new ambassadors: former NHL star Joé Juneau, CFL veteran Shea Emry, musicians Robb Nash and Matthew Good, and standup comic Kevin Breel. Together, the Bell Let's Talk team will be working to encourage Canadians to join them in the growing conversation about mental health.
"We welcome these wonderful talents to the Canadian mental health movement," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Leading the conversation to grow awareness, acceptance and action in Canadian mental health, Clara and the team will make this January 28 the best Bell Let's Talk Day yet!"
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative
Dedicated to promoting Canadian mental health, Bell Let's Talk is built around 4 action pillars - anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. Bell Let's Talk partners with a growing number of mental health leaders across the country including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine, Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne, Montreal Jewish Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the University of British Columbia, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Queen's University, La Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Concordia University, and Brain Canada.
The $1 million Bell Let's Talk Community Fund 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.
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.
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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