Bell Let’s Talk Day sparks conversations around mental health

Help stop the stigma around mental health during the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign.

This year’s campaign falls on Jan. 30 and is organized by Bell Canada. Let’s Talk Day focuses on creating a positive conversation about mental health and aims to provide financial support to mental health organizations across the country. Since its launch in 2011, the event has raised more than $9 million in community grants and has provided more than 1.2 million individuals and counting with access to mental health care.

Last year alone there were more than 138 million interactions on social media, which includes activities such as individuals using the Bell Let’s Talk hashtag and watching mental health awareness videos on Facebook. On top of this, the campaign raised almost $7 million to help fund mental health initiatives across Canada. Some of the organizations who received support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund were Native Child and Family Services, Horizons for Youth and the Hong Fook Mental Health Association.

The Hong Fook Mental Health Association in particular will be using their funding to expand their mental health programs to Richmond Hill. Senior manager Roberta Wong says it’s important to talk about mental health and to have these types of services available in the community.

Youth participating in the Hong Fook Mental Health Association’s programs.

“We have programs for youth to help them understand that it is ok if they have challenges,” she said. “We provide a very safe environment for them to talk about it and share with each other how to manage these challenges.”

Wong added how much she appreciated the funding from Bell because it will help connect the organization with youth while they’re still young.

“Bell helps us work with youth and families and that is the most important thing,” she said. “There are lots of families over there [Richmond Hill] with young children and we like to talk about mental health because it’s better to have early identification and prevention before their challenges accelerate and it becomes harder for them to cope.”

The Hong Fook Mental Health Association was just one of the several organizations that Bell gave funding to this year and, as with every year, there are many ways you can support mental health organizations alike through the Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign.

One way you can take action this year is to simply talk about mental health. Use appropriate language and talk about mental health with your peers to help break the stigma around it. Another way you can participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day is to interact with campaign initiatives on social media. You can tweet using the Bell Let’s Talk hashtag, watch mental health awareness videos posted on social media, use the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame on your profile picture, or even send a Snap on Snapchat with the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter.

Visit letstalk.bell.ca for details on the campaign and other initiatives.

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