February 21, 2019

Bell Let's Talk Day raises awareness and money for mental health initiatives

01 February 2019, 05:25 | Silvia Roy

Naysayers, quite vocal on social media, believe it's bogus or only a corporate PR move, but when Bell launched Let's Talk in 2010, it was in part because Bell Inc. and Bell Canada president and CEO George Cope had recognized that mental health services in Canada were underfunded and negatively stigmatized.

Olympic, World and Canadian figure skating champion Gabby Daleman joined the Bell Let's Talk Day campaign, tweeting, "As a person who suffers with depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Learning disability and Eating disorder nothing makes me happier than #BellLetsTalk⁠⁠".

Greg Aulenback, Carleton University's strategic initiatives manager, said in an email that the school is committing to ensuring mental health and wellbeing is a priority at Carleton year round. He also pledged $50 million dollars over five years to various mental health initiatives and organizations, then another $50 million.

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The Newmarket resident announced last October she was withdrawing from competition, revealing that she had been struggling with her mental health. "She was really supportive of seeing Bell take these actions, but also recognized that if what we do helps one Canadian, that's a venture worth pursuing from her perspective". "What we're seeing is the need for assessment and counselling, treatment and coordination with other health care providers".

The Bell Let's Talk Toolkit consists of simple everyday tactics that can be used to break the silence, including a conversation guide, workplace tips and social media images.

One option is addictions and mental health counselling, which is offered through Alberta Health Services, as well as many private counselling clinics.

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"Bell Let's Talk Day is a great day for Canadians to reflect, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health", she explained.

The media and entertainment industry play a key role in shaping public opinions about mental health and illness.

The English-language video features Alessia Cara, Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, Lisa LaFlamme and Seth Rogen with Bell Let's Talk team members Mike Babcock, Manon Charbonneau, Denni Clement, David K. Henry, Chris Johnson, Queena Lau, Howie Mandel, and Souad Saidj.

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