A record-setting Bell Let's Talk Day - an unprecedented national conversation about mental health
MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2013, 2013 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --
-- On the third Bell Let's Talk Day Clara Hughes leads millions in
talking about mental illness to end the stigma
-- 96,266,266 calls, texts, tweets and Facebook shares by
Canadians on Bell Let's Talk Day means an additional
$4,813,313.30 for mental health programs
-- Bell has now committed a total of $62,043,289.30 to Canadian
Canadian mental health will see a
further $4,813,313.30 million investment from Bell thanks to an
outstanding response by Canadians on Bell Let's Talk Day 2013. People
with lived experience, friends, family and colleagues, teachers and
students, soldiers, politicians, entertainers, sports teams and
players, corporations and competitors, all joined Bell Let's Talk
ambassador Clara Hughes in talking about mental health in order to end
the stigma of mental illness.
Bell Let's Talk Day also drives new investment in mental health, with
Bell committing additional funding based on the extent of conversation:
-- Bell Let's Talk Day 2013 resulted in a total of 96,266,266
texts and long distance calls by Bell and Bell Aliant
customers, tweets using #BellLetsTalk, and Facebook shares of
the Bell Let's Talk Day image.
-- With Bell donating 5 cents for each of these communications,
that means $4,813,313.30 in additional funding for Canadian
mental health programs - a 23% increase over last year's Bell
Let's Talk Day total.
-- Bell Let's Talk 2013 really took off on Twitter, with 1,562,485
tweets and retweets. Bell Let's Talk was a top trend in both
Canada and the U.S. on Twitter, with support from hundreds of
thousands of Canadians, including Governor General David
Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, federal members of
Parliament, provincial premiers and ministers, the Canadian
Armed Forces, sports teams and players, and Canadian
entertainers including Justin Bieber and William Shatner.
"Wow Canada! What an incredible response to the call to help end the
terrible stigma around mental illness. By talking so openly with
family, friends, neighbours and colleagues about the real impact of
mental illness, we're saying the time has come for this disease to come
out of the shadows," said Ms. Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic
medalist. "The Bell Let's Talk conversation has grown significantly
each year but the energy and scope of this year's campaign beat all
expectations. On behalf of the untold numbers of Canadians whose lives
will be improved by your participation, I truly thank everyone for
making Bell Let's Talk 2013 such an incredible success!"
Fighting the stigma is the first step in moving Canadian mental health
forward. Two out of 3 people with mental health issues still suffer in
silence for fear of being judged or rejected because of the continuing
stigma around the disease. One of the most pervasive yet misunderstood
and underfunded of health issues, mental illness costs the Canadian
economy more than $52 billion a year.
"There's no question now that mental health has momentum in Canada,"
said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "The Bell Let's
Talk team is profoundly grateful for the depth of support for the cause
from all corners of Canadian life. To everyone who talked about mental
health yesterday, and will keep on talking until we end the stigma,
thank you very much for your support."
Bell launched the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative in September
2010 with an initial commitment of $50 million over 5 years. Going into
Bell Let's Talk Day 2013, that figure had grown to $57,229,976, thanks
to the $3,303,961.80 resulting from Bell Let's Talk Day 2011 and
$3,926,014.20 from 2012.
With the results of Bell Let's Talk Day 2013, Bell is now committed to
investing a total of $62,043,289.30 in Canadian mental health.
Bell Let's Talk Day 2013 was supported by a major national promotional
and education campaign featuring Clara and fellow Bell Let's Talk
ambassadors Stefie Shock, Michel Mpambara and Seamus O'Regan, with
generous support from a vast range of Canadian media, sports and
communications companies and countless community groups.
"We are thrilled with the participation from so many wonderful
organizations in communities across the country," said Mary Deacon,
Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative. "Conversations
are taking place every day in schools, community centres, health care
facilities, military bases, and homes amongst friends and family. This
is progress that will help lead to ending stigma and making it easier
for those who suffer from mental illness to seek the help they need."
Bell Let's Talk in action
During the lead up to this year's Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell announced 3
new mental health partnerships. In Québec, Bell contributed $500,000 to
La Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) to
upgrade its acute psychiatric care unit, and another $500,000 to
Concordia University's Department of Psychology to subsidize therapy
and assessment at the university's Applied Psychology Centre and Centre
for Clinical Research in Health. On February 8 in Vancouver, Bell
announced a $500,000 gift to Brain Canada to help fund the $1 million
Bell Mental Health Research Training Awards supporting talented young
Canadian mental health researchers.
These new gifts are in addition to previously announced contributions to
the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Douglas Mental Health University
Institute, Hôpital Louis-H Lafontaine, the Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health (CAMH), Queen's University, the University of British
Columbia and other leading institutions and organizations.
In January, Bell announced the 2013 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, the
$1-million annual fund that supports grassroots mental health
organizations throughout Canada. In 2012, Bell Let's Talk supported 60
mental health organizations in communities across the country with
grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a 5-year, multi-million
charitable program based on 4 action pillars: Anti-stigma, care and
access, research, and workplace best practices. To learn more about
Bell Let's Talk, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and
business with solutions to all their communications needs: 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 broadband network, ICT and data hosting services. Bell Media is
Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television,
radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE:
BCE). For Bell products and services, please visit Bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca.
SOURCE: Bell Canada
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SOURCE: Bell Canada
SOURCE: Bell Let's Talk
For media inquiries, please contact: Jacqueline Michelis Bell Media Relations 1
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