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TMCNet:  Bell Let's Talk Day 2013: On February 12, let's talk about mental health and end the stigma around mental illness

[January 14, 2013]

Bell Let's Talk Day 2013: On February 12, let's talk about mental health and end the stigma around mental illness

MONTREAL, Jan. 14, 2013, 2013 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- -- On February 12, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health for every text and long distance call by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, tweets using #BellLetsTalk, and Facebook shares of the Bell Let's Talk image -- Join the conversation with national spokesperson Clara Hughes, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock and new Bell Let's Talk team member Seamus O'Regan to help end the stigma -- This year's Bell Let's Talk campaign highlights the impact of mental illness on our workplaces and economy -- To learn more please visit Bell today launched the third annual Bell Let's Talk campaign in support of Canadian mental health.

National Bell Let's Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes again leads the campaign to encourage all Canadians to join in the conversation about mental illness on BELL LET'S TALK DAY FEBRUARY 12 to help end the stigma.

"It's been so wonderful to hear the voices of Canadians from coast to coast to coast join in the conversation about mental health with Bell Let's Talk," said Ms. Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist.

"Every day, 500,000 Canadians miss work due to mental illness. Not because they're lazy, not because they're having fun, but because they're sick and need help. Talking openly about mental illness lets people know that they shouldn't be afraid to get the support they need - at home, at work, in their community. On February 12, let's talk Canada!" The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a 5-year, $50-million charitable program based on 4 action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. With Bell Let's Talk Day as its anti-stigma centrepiece, Bell's initiative is providing significant funding for leading mental health hospitals and grassroots organizations, driving new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research.

Bell Let's Talk Day is February 12 "We're making significant progress in the fight to end the stigma, but 2 out of 3 people with mental health issues still suffer in silence. The impact of mental illness on our economy is estimated to be at least $51 billion a year. With 1 in 5 Canadians suffering from a mental illness in their lifetimes, the impact on people's lives is incalculable," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. "On Bell Let's Talk Day, we can let all those who continue to struggle with mental illness know they have our support." For every text message or long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers and every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of our Bell Let's Talk image on February 12, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health (regular long distance and text charges apply). In 2012, 8 million Canadians answered Clara's call with more than 78 million text messages, long distance calls and retweets on Bell Let's Talk Day, resulting in $3,926,014.20 in additional funding for mental health initiatives across the country.

Seamus O'Regan joins Clara, Michel and Stefie Starting today, Bell Let's Talk 2013 will be supported by a national promotional campaign featuring Clara as well as author, composer and performer Stefie Shock and actor-comedian Michel Mpambara in Québec.

Joining the Bell Let's Talk team this year is award-winning journalist and CTV National News team correspondent Seamus O'Regan. Together Clara, Stefie, Michel and Seamus will lead the national conversation about mental health throughout the day on February 12.

There are many ways to join in and support Bell Let's Talk Day including: -- Create a text chain: text 10 friends and have them text it to 10 friends, and so on -- Join us on Facebook at -- Follow us @Bell_LetsTalk and tweet using #BellLetsTalk -- Use the online conversation toolkit at to encourage others to support Bell Let's Talk Day Bell Let's Talk Community Fund 2013 The third annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund launches today, ready to distribute $1 million in 2013 to local organizations across Canada that are working to end stigma and increasing access to mental health care.

"Mental illness continues to affect 1 in 5 Canadians and is the cause of an estimated $50 billion in lost productivity annually," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative. "Bell Let's Talk is providing much-needed support to mental health organizations helping people in communities across the country and raising awareness about the importance of mental health to our society and economy." During the past two years, the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund has provided more than $2 million to 109 organizations across the country through grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Since September 2010, Bell has committed over $20 million to care, access and research initiatives at mental health organizations across the country, including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Hôpital Louis-H.

Lafontaine, Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the University of British Columbia, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Fondation Robert-Giffard and Queen's University.

Bell was honoured to be named the recipient of the 2012 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation for the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative.

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 IP-broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and the country's most-watched specialty channels. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell products and services, please visit For BCE corporate information, please visit

SOURCE: Bell Canada To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: SOURCE: Bell Canada Jacqueline Michelis Bell Media Relations 1 855 785-1427 @Bell_News

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