MONTRÉAL, Jan. 3, 2019 – Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019 is coming up on Wednesday, January 30, and this week marks the start of the mental health initiative’s national awareness campaign leading up to the world’s biggest conversation about mental health.
The campaign features 41 Friends of Bell Let’s Talk, Canadians from around the country telling their personal stories of living with mental illness and inviting everyone to join in on January 30 to drive awareness and action in mental health. Supported by a wide range of Canadian media organizations, the campaign is appearing nationwide on television networks, radio, social media and out-of-home advertising, in newspapers and on movie screens.
“I’m proud to be part of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign again in 2019 and to share my ongoing story of living with bipolar disorder,” said lawyer and mental health advocate Beth Beattie, who appears in multiple elements of the campaign. “Alongside all the Friends of Bell Let’s Talk, I encourage everyone to join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day so that people who live with mental illness know that they can reach out to get the help they need.”
“Thank you to Beth and everyone in this amazing group of Canadians for sharing their personal stories from such a diverse range of perspectives, and for encouraging all of us to talk openly about how mental illness affects us. The more we talk, the faster we move Canadian mental health forward,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Canada leads the way each year with the biggest mental health conversation in the world, and I invite everyone to get engaged this January 30 as we reach some incredible new milestones: more than a billion total Bell Let’s Talk Day messages of support, and a total Bell donation to Canadian mental health programs surpassing $100 million.”
Bell Let’s Talk also welcomes back the leaders who get people talking about mental health, including spokespeople Howie Mandel, Marie-Soleil Dion, Michael Landsberg, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock, Mary Walsh and Étienne Boulay, and community ambassadors Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock, pro golfer Andrew Jensen, comedian Kevin Breel, retired CFL player Shea Emry, singer-songwriter Séan McCann, veteran Bruno Guévremont, comedian Jessica Holmes, musician Florence K and actress Véronique Bannon.
“Mental illness affects each and every one of us in some way, and we have to continue to talk about it and work together to help end the stigma if we want to keep making progress,” said Olympian and Bell Let’s Talk Founding Spokesperson Clara Hughes. “On behalf of the Bell Let’s Talk team, I encourage all Canadians to build on what we’ve accomplished together and continue to lead the world in declaring that mental health matters to all of us.”
Join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day
Launched in 2011, the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day is the most high-profile event in the national Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative. By getting engaged in the mental health conversation across a wide range of communications platforms on Bell Let’s Talk Day, you directly drive Bell’s donations to Canadian mental health programs all year round.
Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access:
- Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
- Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
- Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
- Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
- Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/bell_letstalk
- Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
Total Bell Let’s Talk Day interactions since the first event in 2011 stand at 867,449,649 and are expected to exceed 1 billion on January 30. Bell’s funding commitment for mental health, including the company’s donations based on Bell Let’s Talk engagement and its original $50-million donation to launch the initiative, is now $93,423,628.80 and expected to surpass $100 million on January 30.
Last year, Bell Let’s Talk set all-new records with 138,383,995 messages across all platforms, growing Bell’s funding for Canadian mental health last year by $6,919,199.75. #BellLetsTalk was the most retweeted Twitter hashtag by Canadians in 2018 and became the most-used Canadian hashtag of all time.
The 5 simple ways to help end the stigma
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
About Bell Let’s Talk
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 900 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including major donations to hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations.
To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.