Today is the 5th annual Bell Let's Talk Day in support of Canadian mental health, and Clara Hughes and the Bell Let's Talk team invite you to talk, text, tweet and share to help build a Canada free of the stigma around mental illness.
"Welcome to Bell Let's Talk Day! I look forward to joining with you in the nationwide conversation about mental health and taking the discussion further than ever before," said Clara, Canada's 6-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let's Talk spokesperson since the initiative launched in 2010. "This is our chance to let those who struggle hear loud and clear that they have our support – and to drive Bell's donations to mental health by talking, texting, tweeting and sharing the Bell Let's Talk message of a stigma-free Canada."
It's easy to join the conversation
Today, for every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs.
In 2014, Canadians answered the call with a total of 109,451,718 messages including texts, wireless and long distance calls, tweets and Facebook shares, meaning Bell added another $5,472,585.90 to its Bell Let's Talk funding commitment. Based on its original $50 million donation and the results of the last 4 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell has now committed more than $67.5 million to Canadian 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.
5 simple ways to help end the stigma
We can all help end the stigma around mental illness with these 5 simple ways:
- Language matters – pay attention to the words you use about mental illness
- Educate yourself – learn, know and talk more, understand the signs
- Be kind – small acts of kindness say a lot
- Listen and ask – sometimes it's best to just listen
- Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence
The 2015 Bell Let's Talk team
This year, TSN host Michael Landsberg, comedian Howie Mandel and entertainer Mary Walsh join Clara and Québec spokespeople Stefie Shock and Michel Mpambara in the Bell Let's Talk campaign.
The long-time host of TSN's Off The Record, Michael Landsberg is a renowned advocate for mental health. Howie Mandel is the internationally known comedian, actor and TV host. Mary Walsh is a social activist, comedian and actor whose work includes the iconic news satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
A new ambassador, professional golfer Andrew Jensen, has also joined comedian and writer Kevin Breel, CFL veteran Shea Emry and musician Robb Nash to share personal stories and encourage Canadians to get engaged in the conversation.
"Thank you to the amazing Bell Let's Talk team for helping to spread the mental health message. Together, we're working to end the stigma and make mental health part of our everyday conversations," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk.
Bell Let's Talk Day Events
Bell Let's Talk and Cisco host nationwide student TelePresence event
Today, Clara Hughes and Michel Mpambara will lead live interactive webcasts linking schools nationwide to encourage youth to talk about mental health. In Toronto, Clara will be joined by Michael Landsberg and Kevin Breel. Joining Michel in Montreal will be Alex Genest, Josiane Babin of the Montreal Mental Illness Foundation's Partners for Life program, and NRJ radio and television host Anais Favron, who will moderate the event.
CLARA'S BIG RIDE documentary on CTV and CraveTV
Airing in primetime tonight on CTV and CTV Two, CLARA'S BIG RIDE is a powerful documentary chronicling 6-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson Clara Hughes' epic 110-day bicycle journey to help build a Canada free of the stigma of mental illness. CLARA'S BIG RIDE will be available all day on CraveTV and CTV.ca, before airing at 7:00 pm ET/PT in super-simulcast on CTV and CTV Two and live-streamed on CTV GO.
Bell Media is marking the 5th annual Bell Let's Talk Day with more than 50 hours of special mental health-themed programming that will air across its properties, including CTV, CTV Two, BNN, CP24, CTV News Channel, Discovery, E!, M3, Much, MTV, RDS, Space, TSN, CraveTV, and TheLoop.ca, as well as Bell Media digital, radio, and local TV platforms throughout the day.
To learn more about Bell Media's special Bell Let's Talk Day programming, please visit http://bmpr.ca/15PewCc.
Toronto Raptors game in support of Bell Let's Talk
Tonight, Clara will attend the Toronto Raptors game. To celebrate Bell Let's Talk Day, the first 10,000 fans who arrive at the game will receive Bell Let's Talk toques and fans will be encouraged to continue the conversation about mental health by calling, texting and tweeting.
Canadian Armed Forces mental health awareness event
Bell Let's Talk ambassador Andrew Jensen will participate in a panel discussion about mental health at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa from 11 to 11 30 am.
Tomorrow night, Clara will join the Ottawa Senators and the Dallas Stars at centre ice for the ceremonial puck drop during the Bell Hockey Talks mental health in support of D.I.F.D (Do It For Daron) game at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa (TSN, 7 pm ET). Fans will receive Bell Let's Talk and D.I.F.D mittens when they arrive at the game.
To learn more about Bell Let's Talk and how to join the conversation, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative
Bell Let's Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars – anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. The initiative supports mental health leaders across the country including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, 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, Brain Canada, Kids Help Phone, Sunnybrook Hospital, Université Laval Foundation, CHU Sainte-Justine and Vancouver General Hospital.
Bell Let's Talk Community Fund
The annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund supports organizations in Canada focused on improving access to programs and services that support and help improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living with mental health issues from coast to coast to coast with grants in the range of $5,000 to $50,000. Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund. The 2015 application period is open until March 31 and all 2015 Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2015.