Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk: A journey around Canada to grow the mental health conversation like never before

Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk: A journey around Canada to grow the 
mental health conversation like never before 

    --  Six-time Olympian Clara Hughes to ride her bike coast to coast
        to coast to talk about mental health with schools and community
        organizations in every province and territory
    --  Starting next March 2014, Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk
        will span more than 100 days and 12,000 kilometres - concluding
        in Ottawa on Canada Day 2014
    --  Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk is supported by leading
        mental health organizations and National Partners BMO, Canadian
        Tire, Samsung and CTV

GATINEAU, QC, April 25, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced Clara's Big 
Ride for Bell Let's Talk, a national bicycle tour by Clara Hughes in support 
of mental health that begins in March 2014 and spans more than 100 days, 
12,000 kilometres and every province and territory of Canada. The ride 
culminates on Canada Day, July 1 2014, in Ottawa.

Canada's six-time Olympic cycling and speed-skating medallist and national 
spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative, Clara will 
invite people in communities around the country to the mental health 
discussion, sharing her own story of a struggle with depression during her 
athletic career.

"I'm incredibly excited about bringing even more Canadians into the Bell Let's 
Talk conversation - the schools, community groups and hometown champions that 
are really moving mental health forward," said Clara. "I'm looking forward to 
meeting people across Canada, hearing about their challenges and successes, 
sharing our stories and embracing new ideas and opportunities in mental 
health. I can't think of a better way to meet people, from the cities to the 
coasts to Canada's North, than getting on my bike and taking to the roads of 
this beautiful country."

"Mental health and wellness requires the combined efforts of governments, 
communities, corporations and individuals," said Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of 
Health. "We commend Bell Canada and Clara Hughes for their commitment to 
engaging Canadians in conversations and helping to create communities of 
compassion and awareness."

"Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will grow the conversation about mental 
health like never before while highlighting community mental health 
organizations in every part of Canada," said George Cope, President and CEO of 
Bell and BCE Inc. "We've made significant strides in the fight against the 
stigma with Bell Let's Talk Day and major progress in funding new care, 
research and workplace initiatives. As a tireless champion of mental health, 
Clara is building on that momentum and taking the cause to a whole new level."

Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk is supported by Canada's leading mental 
health organizations, including Agir contre la maladie mentale (AMI-Québec), 
Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, Canadian Mental Health 
Association, and Fondation des maladies mentales. Bell Let's Talk is also 
proud to announce BMO, Canadian Tire, Samsung and CTV as the first National 
Partners of Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk.

The Ride will be a catalyst for new events, partnerships and fundraising - 
where every dollar stays in the community for local mental health initiatives. 
It will reach more than 60% of the Canadian population, including all three 
Northern territories. Plans are underway to engage with local, regional and 
national organizations to create hundreds of community events.

"The response of Canadians to the Bell Let's Talk call to end the stigma of 
mental illness has been truly inspiring. And we've learned through the annual 
Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, which supports new local mental health 
projects each year, that amazing work is being undertaken at the grassroots 
level in every region of Canada," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. 
"Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will broaden the conversation, spark new 
fundraising, awareness and engagement opportunities, and take us closer to 
ending the stigma with every kilometre Clara rides."

"Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will inspire Canadians to come together 
in a combined effort to address all mental illnesses," said Dave Gallson, 
Co-Chair of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. "The 
truly inspiring nature of this campaign is that it is community focused and 
will involve all citizens, young and old, regardless of where they live or 
work. We congratulate everyone involved and encourage all Canadians to follow 
the Ride, participate in community events, and help make this a huge success."

Making a difference includes bringing the next generation into the mental 
health conversation. Schools across the nation will have the opportunity to 
discuss with Clara new ideas to grow the conversation in their own 
communities. The Ride will also work with communities to develop their own 
Bell Let's Talk events, an unprecedented opportunity for local mental health 
groups to raise funds and awareness for their programs that are making a 
profoundly important difference in the lives of people in their communities.

Share in the ride at
Every Canadian can participate in Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk through 
community events and social media. For more information, please visit or follow the latest Ride news on Facebook at or on Twitter at @Bell_LetsTalk.

The Ride builds on the growing success of Bell Let's Talk Day, an annual event 
led by Clara that invites Canadians to join the conversation about mental 
illness, reducing the stigma while growing Bell's funding of mental health. 
Bell donates 5 cents to mental health for every text and long-distance call by 
Bell and Bell Aliant customers and every tweet and Facebook share of the Bell 
Let's Talk message.

This year, Canadians sent a total of 96.266.266 messages - resulting in an 
additional $4,813,313.30 in Bell funding for mental health. With its initial 
$50-million commitment and three successful Bell Let's Talk Days since 2011, 
Bell has now committed a total of $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health.

The Bell Let's Talk initiative was launched in 2010 to drive action in mental 
health based on 4 pillars: Anti-stigma, care and access, research, and 
workplace best practices. To learn more about the largest-ever corporate 
commitment to Canadian mental health, please visit

At least 1 in 5 Canadians will struggle with a mental illness in their 
lifetimes - and 2 out of 3 won't seek the help they need because of the stigma 
surrounding the disease. Mental illness impacts everyone in some way, and it's 
a health issue that costs the Canadian economy over $51 billion every year. 
More than 500,000 people miss work each day because of a mental illness, and 
the impact in lost labour-market participation alone was an estimated $20.7 
billion in 2012.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and 
business with solutions to all their communications needs. 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). To learn 
more about Bell, please visit  
    Leading Canadians comment on Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk

"By reaching out and talking to Canadians in communities across the country, 
Clara and Bell Let's Talk continue to be proactive in ending the stigma of 
mental illness. Their hard work, dedication, and determination continue to 
spread the word, building on their progress. Let's continue to keep talking!" 
Laureen Harper

"Bell continues to demonstrate an unprecedented commitment to advancing the 
cause of mental health in Canada. As someone who has been involved in 
raising awareness, engaging Canadians and building understanding about this 
issue for over 20 years, I have never seen anything of this nature or on this 
scale. Congratulations to Clara and Bell for engaging with Canadians and 
communities in an authentic, unique and grassroots way." Michael Wilson, P.C., 

"Clara Hughes is a Difference Maker who is working to help build an accessible 
and inclusive Canada with Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk. Clara is an 
outstanding athlete, a great person, and someone who understands that she has 
been able to achieve her hopes and dreams because of the people who have 
supported her, and now she's paying it forward with Bell to make a 
difference." Rick Hansen, Rick Hansen Foundation

"On behalf of the Canadian Olympic Committee I congratulate Clara Hughes on 
her unparalleled leadership and service to community, One of the defining 
characteristics of Bell Canada, under the leadership of George Cope, is the 
passion and dedication to advancing the conversation on mental health in our 
country." Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee

"As spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk Day, I would like to thank Clara Hughes 
for her dedicated work in raising awareness about mental health. I wish her 
every success for the 2014 Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk event. Go 
Stefie Shock, Spokesperson, Bell Let's Talk

"Clara is not only a great Olympian and a great Canadian, she's a great 
person. We have a proud history in this country of individuals whose journeys 
across Canada have inspired the nation and raised awareness and hope. Please 
join Clara on this odyssey. Let's bike, walk and most importantly talk about 
mental illness and mental health - to acknowledge the reality, to fight the 
stigma, and to give hope for a brighter future for the 1 in 5 Canadians every 
year who experience mental illness."
David S. Goldbloom, MD, FRCPC, Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada

"The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, launched last May by the Mental Health 
Commission of Canada, marks a turning point in the conversation about mental 
health problems and illness. The Bell Let's Talk initiative is playing an 
important role, with its focus on reducing stigma and promoting recovery for 
people living with mental illness and their families across Canada. We look 
forward to working together with Bell to advance shared goals through Clara's 
Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk." Louise Bradley, President and CEO, Mental 
Health Commission of Canada

"CMHA commends Bell and Clara Hughes for this initiative to improve Canadians' 
understanding of mental health and mental illness and reducediscrimination 
and stigma. Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will help raise the profile 
of mental health in communities across Canadaand stimulate new conversations 
and partnerships.All Canadians, including those with mental health 
problems,will benefit fromthe improved knowledge and attitudes arising 
from the increased profile on mental healthand the programs and services 
Peter Coleridge, National Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health 

"Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk is another initiative that ensures the 
conversation around mental illness and mental health continues. Quebec is 
excited to welcome Clara Hughes! This tour will help to make sure that mental 
illness is brought to - and remains - at the center of our collective 
attention and action, and that people with mental illness are recognized for 
their gifts and abilities, not just for their disabilities." Ella Amir, 
Executive Director, AMI-Québec

"We strongly believe through the Samsung Hope for Children program that there 
is a need to bring attention to childhood health, which is why we are proud to 
play a part in 'Clara'sBigRide', "Samsung Canada actively strives to serve 
as a generous corporate citizen and it is our hope that through sponsorship 
such as 'Bell Let's Talk' that we are able to activate awareness for mental 
health across Canada."
HT Kim, President and CEO, Samsung Canada

"We are very proud to support Clara in her tireless work to fight the stigmas 
associated with mental illness. The Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk is more 
important than ever as it encourages those who need help to seek it. Improving 
the conversation about mental illness is important to all of us at BMO, in our 
workplace and our communities." Tom Milroy, CEO, BMO Capital Markets

"As a Canadian company deeply rooted in communities across the country, 
Canadian Tire is committed to empowering youth through the power of sport. 
We are proud to join Clara Hughes and Bell Canada in this incredible 
initiative, which will promote the important role fitness and activity can 
play in a healthy and balanced lifestyle." Stephen Wetmore, President and CEO, 
Canadian Tire

"What an honour for BUILT Network Moncton and community stakeholders to 
participate with Clara Hughes en route through New Brunswick.Clara's 
presence will bring a heightened awareness about depression and her life 
experience. This will encourage and motivate countless others to come 
forward and share their stories." Cynthia Black, Executive Director, BUILT 
Network Moncton, Inc.

"As an individual living with mental health issues representing a consumer-led 
organization, I am thrilled at the promise of this tour. Clara's Big Ride for 
Bell Let's Talk will offer the opportunity to unite the entire nation as we 
all strive for stigma-free communities while creating safe spaces for 
individuals to start a conversation. It is only when we open up and say 'Let's 
Talk' do we destroy the silence." Paula Corcoran, Provincial Executive 
Director (Acting), Consumers' Health Awareness Network Newfoundland And 
Labrador (CHANNAL)

"This tremendous initiative gives us an opportunity to build on the progress 
we have made in the fight against the stigma surrounding mental illness, and 
accelerate that progress in the communities we serve. Clara's Big Ride will 
build on the 2013 success of Bell Let's Talk Day and rally Canadians to take 
the conversation about mental health to the next level." Karen Sheriff, 
President and CEO, Bell Aliant

"Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will connect Canadians across the 
country in support of mental health. I am proud that there is an opportunity 
for First Nation, Inuit and Métis communitiesto join this truly Canadian 
grassroots campaign." Bill Mussell, Chair, Native Mental Health Association

Clara Hughes'commitment tomental health serves as an inspiration to 
allCanadians.Northwestelapplauds Clara's effort tobring the 
conversationto the smallestand mostremote communities in our vast 
country and thank her for including the north on her tour.Her leadership and 
dedication to raising awareness about mental healtharea huge 
undertakingand we have no doubt that she will continue to make us proud to 
be Canadian as she has done for decades. Paul Flaherty, President & CEO 

"As Clara's friend and teammate, I'd like to applaud her efforts and thank her 
partners at Bell for once again stepping up for those facing mental health 
issues. I'm certain the trip will ignite many conversations and leave legacies 
in each and every stop. Clara is a true Champion in every sense of the word, 
and I look forward to joining her, for a few days, on this incredible journey."
Adam van Koeverden, World and Olympic Champion kayaker.

"Mental health awareness is a very personal and important cause to both me and 
my family. Events like Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will continue to 
bring much-needed attention to this cause and I hope it will inspire more 
people to talk openly about their own mental wellness. Clara has been a great 
leader for the cause and I wish her great success for her upcoming ride across 
Daniel Alfredsson, Captain, Ottawa Senators

"The Canadian Nurses Association is delighted to be a part of Clara's Big Ride 
for Bell Let's Talk," said Barb Mildon, Canadian Nurses Association president. 
"Nurses are committed to promoting mental health and wellness across the 
lifespan and wherever Canadians live, learn, work and play. We congratulate 
Bell for their leadership and for understanding that nothing less than true 
collaboration across sectors and communities will generate awareness, reduce 
stigma and improve the health of those living with mental illness and their 
families." Barb Mildon, President, Canadian Nurses Association.

"In building relationships with national and community organizations focussed 
on mental health, Bell is demonstrating the leadership necessary to not only 
raise awareness but to leave lasting legacies from coast to coast to coast in 
Canada" Fred Phelps MSW, RSW, Executive Director, Canadian Association of 
Social Workers

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jacqueline Michelis Bell Media Relations 1-855-785-1427 @Bell_News

Image with caption: "Clara Hughes, Six-Time Canadian Olympian and National 
Spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk at the launch of Clara's Big Ride for Bell 
Let's Talk announced today at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. 
(CNW Group/Bell Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Clara Hughes, Six-Time Canadian Olympian and National 
Spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk at the launch of Clara's Big Ride for Bell 
Let's Talk announced today at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. 
(CNW Group/Bell Canada)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Bell Canada

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CO: Bell Canada
ST: Quebec

-0- Apr/25/2013 15:34 GMT

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