A record-setting Bell Let's Talk Day - an unprecedented national conversation about mental health

A record-setting Bell Let's Talk Day - an unprecedented national conversation 
about mental health 

    --  On the third Bell Let's Talk Day Clara Hughes leads millions in
        talking about mental illness to end the stigma
    --  96,266,266 calls, texts, tweets and Facebook shares by
        Canadians on Bell Let's Talk Day means an additional
        $4,813,313.30 for mental health programs
    --  Bell has now committed a total of $62,043,289.30 to Canadian
        mental health

MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian mental health will see a 
further $4,813,313.30 million investment from Bell thanks to an outstanding 
response by Canadians on Bell Let's Talk Day 2013. People with lived 
experience, friends, family and colleagues, teachers and students, soldiers, 
politicians, entertainers, sports teams and players, corporations and 
competitors, all joined Bell Let's Talk ambassador Clara Hughes in talking 
about mental health in order to end the stigma of mental illness.

Bell Let's Talk Day also drives new investment in mental health, with Bell 
committing additional funding based on the extent of conversation:
    --  Bell Let's Talk Day 2013 resulted in a total of 96,266,266
        texts and long distance calls by Bell and Bell Aliant
        customers, tweets using #BellLetsTalk, and Facebook shares of
        the Bell Let's Talk Day image.
    --  With Bell donating 5 cents for each of these communications,
        that means $4,813,313.30 in additional funding for Canadian
        mental health programs - a 23% increase over last year's Bell
        Let's Talk Day total.
    --  Bell Let's Talk 2013 really took off on Twitter, with 1,562,485
        tweets and retweets. Bell Let's Talk was a top trend in both
        Canada and the U.S. on Twitter, with support from hundreds of
        thousands of Canadians, including Governor General David
        Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, federal members of
        Parliament, provincial premiers and ministers, the Canadian
        Armed Forces, sports teams and players, and Canadian
        entertainers including Justin Bieber and William Shatner.

"Wow Canada! What an incredible response to the call to help end the terrible 
stigma around mental illness. By talking so openly with family, friends, 
neighbours and colleagues about the real impact of mental illness, we're 
saying the time has come for this disease to come out of the shadows," said 
Ms. Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist. "The Bell Let's Talk 
conversation has grown significantly each year but the energy and scope of 
this year's campaign beat all expectations. On behalf of the untold numbers of 
Canadians whose lives will be improved by your participation, I truly thank 
everyone for making Bell Let's Talk 2013 such an incredible success!"

Fighting the stigma is the first step in moving Canadian mental health 
forward. Two out of 3 people with mental health issues still suffer in silence 
for fear of being judged or rejected because of the continuing stigma around 
the disease. One of the most pervasive yet misunderstood and underfunded of 
health issues, mental illness costs the Canadian economy more than $52 billion 
a year.

"There's no question now that mental health has momentum in Canada," said 
George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "The Bell Let's Talk team is 
profoundly grateful for the depth of support for the cause from all corners of 
Canadian life. To everyone who talked about mental health yesterday, and will 
keep on talking until we end the stigma, thank you very much for your support."

Bell launched the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative in September 2010 
with an initial commitment of $50 million over 5 years. Going into Bell Let's 
Talk Day 2013, that figure had grown to $57,229,976, thanks to the 
$3,303,961.80 resulting from Bell Let's Talk Day 2011 and $3,926,014.20 from 

With the results of Bell Let's Talk Day 2013, Bell is now committed to 
investing a total of $62,043,289.30 in Canadian mental health.

Bell Let's Talk Day 2013 was supported by a major national promotional and 
education campaign featuring Clara and fellow Bell Let's Talk ambassadors 
Stefie Shock, Michel Mpambara and Seamus O'Regan, with generous support from a 
vast range of Canadian media, sports and communications companies and 
countless community groups.

"We are thrilled with the participation from so many wonderful organizations 
in communities across the country," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's 
Talk mental health initiative. "Conversations are taking place every day in 
schools, community centres, health care facilities, military bases, and homes 
amongst friends and family. This is progress that will help lead to ending 
stigma and making it easier for those who suffer from mental illness to seek 
the help they need."

Bell Let's Talk in action
During the lead up to this year's Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell announced 3 new 
mental health partnerships. In Québec, Bell contributed $500,000 to La 
Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) to upgrade its 
acute psychiatric care unit, and another $500,000 to Concordia University's 
Department of Psychology to subsidize therapy and assessment at the 
university's Applied Psychology Centre and Centre for Clinical Research in 
Health. On February 8 in Vancouver, Bell announced a $500,000 gift to Brain 
Canada to help fund the $1 million Bell Mental Health Research Training Awards 
supporting talented young Canadian mental health researchers.

These new gifts are in addition to previously announced contributions to the 
Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 
Hôpital Louis-H Lafontaine, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 
(CAMH), Queen's University, the University of British Columbia and other 
leading institutions and organizations.

In January, Bell announced the 2013 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, the 
$1-million annual fund that supports grassroots mental health organizations 
throughout Canada. In 2012, Bell Let's Talk supported 60 mental health 
organizations in communities across the country with grants ranging from 
$5,000 to $50,000.

About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a 5-year, multi-million 
charitable program based on 4 action pillars: Anti-stigma, care and access, 
research, and workplace best practices. To learn more about Bell Let's Talk, 
please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and 
business with solutions to all their communications needs: Bell Mobility 
wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell Satellite TV and Bell Fibe TV, Bell 
Home Phone local and long distance, and Bell Business Markets broadband 
network, ICT and data hosting services. Bell Media is Canada's premier 
multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. 
Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell products and 
services, please visit Bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jacqueline Michelis Bell Media Relations 1 855-785-1427 
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca @Bell_News

SOURCE: Bell Canada

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 

CO: Bell Let's Talk
ST: Quebec

-0- Feb/13/2013 17:20 GMT

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.