Bell Let’s Talk Day 2018 is set for January 31 and everyone is invited to join the Canadian conversation that’s leading the world in confronting the stigma around mental illness and sharing ideas to move mental health forward.
“A diverse and dedicated group of Canadians has come together to share their personal stories of struggle, recovery and support with everyone in the country. I thank them for offering their lived experience, encouraging all of us to talk openly about mental illness and how we can all support better mental health for everyone,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative. “I would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the many media and other organizations across the country supporting the awareness campaign as we look forward to Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 31.”
“I am so happy to join with all the friends of Bell Let’s Talk to share our stories of living with mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it, and work together to encourage everyone to talk about mental health so no one misses out on the care they need,” said Melynda Ehaloak, a mental health advocate in Canada’s North who appears in the campaign. “Through my work with youth in Nunavut, I see every day just how important it is to keep talking so that we can help young people living with mental health issues.”
“As someone who lives with mental illness, I’ve been fortunate to have the support of Bell Let’s Talk here in the workplace and also as a volunteer advocate for mental health,” said Leanne Simpson, a Bell employee and CAMH Engage volunteer with the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction Foundation. “It’s really a privilege for me to be able to share the story of my own experience as part of this great group of Canadians that has come together for Bell Let’s Talk Day.”
“As Bell Let’s Talk continues to grow each year, more inspiring voices join the conversation, and I’m incredibly excited to welcome all our new friends to the Bell Let’s Talk campaign,” said Clara Hughes, Canada’s 6-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let’s Talk Founding Spokesperson. “This amazing group of Canadians has a passion for sharing their experiences to encourage everyone to join in the conversation in communities all around the country. So let’s all keep talking and make January 31 a new record for Bell Let’s Talk Day here in Canada and everywhere around the world!”
Bell Let’s Talk also welcomes back long-time spokespeople Howie Mandel, Marie-Soleil Dion, Serena Ryder, Michael Landsberg, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock, Mary Walsh and Étienne Boulay, and Bell Let’s Talk ambassadors Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock, pro golfer Andrew Jensen, comedian Kevin Breel, retired CFL player Shea Emry, musician Robb Nash, singer-songwriter Séan McCann and Royal Canadian Navy veteran Bruno Guévremont. We’re very pleased to welcome three new Bell Let’s Talk ambassadors to the team this year – comedian and actress Jessica Holmes, musician and author Florence K and actress Véronique Bannon.
Join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, millions of people in Canada and around the world send messages of support and encouragement for those struggling with mental illness, share their own stories and offer ideas about how we can improve everyone’s mental health.
Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions on January 31, at no extra cost to participants:
- Text and talk: Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant
- Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
- Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
- Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
- Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter and video view
Bell Let’s Talk Day 2017 set all new records with 131,705,010 messages, growing Bell’s funding for Canadian mental health by $6,585,250. #BellLetsTalk was Canada’s top hashtag in 2017, and is now the most used Twitter hashtag ever in Canada.
With approximately 729,065,654 interactions by Canadians over the last seven Bell Let’s Talk Days, Bell’s total commitment to mental health, including an original $50-million anchor donation in 2010, has risen to $86,504,429.05. Bell expects its donation commitment to reach at least $100 million in 2020.
Since launching in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has supported organizations providing mental health care and services in every region of Canada. Focused on 4 key action pillars – anti-stigma, care and access, research and workplace leadership – Bell Let’s Talk programs include major donations to hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations across Canada and these dedicated programs: the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for local community mental health organizations; the Bell True Patriot Love Fund for military members, veterans and their families; a fund supporting mental health care in Canada’s Territories; and most recently a new fund dedicated to Indigenous mental health in Manitoba, launched alongside the creation of Bell MTS with a donation to Winnipeg’s Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.
According to the latest Bell Let’s Talk awareness survey conducted by Nielsen last fall, 4 in 5 Canadians are more aware of mental health issues than five years ago, 70 per cent think attitudes about mental health have changed for the better, and over half believe the stigma around mental illness has been reduced. The numbers are even more impressive among young people aged 18 to 24: 87 per cent are more aware of mental health issues than five years ago, 76 per cent think attitudes are better, and 60 per cent believe stigma has been reduced.
The 5 simple ways to help end the stigma around mental illness
Together, we can all help end the stigma around mental illness with the 5 simple ways developed by Dr. Heather Stuart, the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen’s University:
- 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 speak a lot
- Listen and ask – sometimes it’s best to just listen
- Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence
To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.