MONTRÉAL, Jan. 4, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Let's Talk Day is January 28, when people throughout Canada and worldwide have the clear opportunity to make our voices heard in the conversation about mental illness. With the challenges we've all faced in 2020, taking every action to drive progress in mental health in our communities is of critical importance.
"Now more than ever, every action counts in moving Canada's mental health forward. The multiple and unprecedented impacts of the last year have underscored the need to address mental illness in new ways as well as the important role we can all play in putting the focus on mental health," said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. "Please join us in growing the conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day January 28 with messages of support for all those who live with mental illness and those taking action to help them."
"Together we've made tremendous progress in increasing awareness of mental health and supporting improved access to care, but demands for help continue to increase dramatically as we confront these difficult times," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk initiative. "Bell Let's Talk is proud to play our part with a $155 million minimum funding commitment and new dedicated programs addressing the impacts of both COVID-19 and systemic racism on our communities. We need your voice too so I hope you can be part of the mental health movement on Bell Let's Talk Day!"
This year's nationwide Bell Let's Talk Day multimedia campaign highlights the actions we can all take. Whether you're staying virtually connected with a family member, working directly with patients in recovery, investing in access to care or even just taking care of your own mental health, every Canadian can play a part in their communities, workplaces, schools and at home.
Bell will be announcing new funding for mental health projects across the country this month as well as the launch of the 2021 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, the $2 million annual program that provides grants up to $25,000 for local and grassroots mental health initiatives. Since the 2011 launch of the Community Fund, 775 organizations in every province and territory have received grants.
Bell Let's Talk will also announce more recipients of the new Bell Let's Talk Diversity Fund, which supports the mental health and well-being of BIPOC communities across Canada, and is partnering with United Way Centraide Canada throughout January to provide thousands more mobile devices and SIM cards to charitable organizations to help those in the greatest need stay connected.
Bell Media will feature special mental health content in English and French across its TV, radio and digital properties as part of the Bell Let's Talk Day campaign, including a special episode of CTV's Etalk featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, who will speak candidly about her mental health. On January 28, a full day of programming will include a primetime CTV Bell Let's Talk Day feature, and a Noovo primetime special "La semaine des 4 Julie" will focus on mental health.
"La santé mentale : une note à la fois," a documentary that shines a light on the lives of musicians living with mental health issues – Steve Veilleux, Laurence Jalbert and Safia Nolin – will air on Canal D, Canal Vie and VRAK and be available online at Noovo.ca, Vrak.tv, Crave, Canalvie.com and Canald.com.
Bell Let's Talk is proud of the incredible support of our spokespeople, including Olympian and Bell Let's Talk founding spokesperson Clara Hughes, Étienne Boulay, Marie-Soleil Dion, Michael Landsberg, Howie Mandel, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock and Mary Walsh, as well as our community ambassadors including actress Véronique Bannon, retired CFL player Shea Emry, Canadian Armed Forces Veteran Bruno Guévremont, comedian Jessica Holmes, pro golfer Andrew Jensen and musician Florence K.
We also welcome back the Friends of Bell Let's Talk, who continue to share their personal stories about living with mental illness.
On January 28, Canadians everywhere will join in the mental health conversation, along with a growing number of participants around the globe. You can use a wide range of communications platforms to join in on Bell Let's Talk Day – and directly drive Bell's donations to Canadian mental health programs at no extra cost to you.
On Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let's Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access.
Bell Let's Talk Day 2020 set a new single-day record with 154,387,425 messages across all platforms, growing Bell's funding for mental health by an additional $7,719,371.25.
Since the first Bell Let's Talk Day in 2011, Canadians and people around the world have sent a total of more than 1.1 billion messages of support for mental health, bringing Bell's total funding commitment to $113,415,135 (which includes the company's original $50 million anchor donation when Bell Let's Talk launched in 2010, plus an additional $5 million dedicated to COVID-19 response).
In March 2020, Bell announced the extension of the Bell Let's Talk initiative for another 5 years. Including the additional COVID-19 funding, Bell is now targeting a total corporate donation of at least $155 million to Canadian mental health programs.
Already the most-used Canadian hashtag of all time, #BellLetsTalk was once again a top Twitter trend here in Canada and worldwide in 2020, while the Bell Let's Talk Day video was Canada's most retweeted message last year.
The largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, Bell Let's Talk is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let's Talk has partnered with more than 1,100 organizations providing mental health supports and services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.