Bell Let's Talk

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Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell Cause pour la cause
Bell Let's Talk.svg
Frequencyannual
Years active8[1]
InauguratedJanuary 2011 (2011-01)
Most recentJanuary 31, 2018 (2018-01-31)
Organized byBell Canada
Websiteletstalk.bell.ca

Bell Let's Talk (French: Bell Cause pour la cause) is an advocacy program by Bell Canada to promote mental health education, research, awareness, and ending social stigma. The initiative is most known for its annual Bell Let's Talk Day. This is an associated charity fundraiser that occurs early in the new year. The campaign is hosted by female Canadian Olympian, Clara Hughes. [2][3] Nearly $90 million has been donated to fund mental health advocacy since 2010 when the initiative first started. [4] The funds raised by Bell Canada from this initiative (Bell Let's Talk and other smaller-scale events included) are distributed to numerous mental health organizations across Canada with the goal of creating a stigma-free nation. [5][6]

Events[edit]

Bell Let's Talk Day[edit]

French logo for Bell Cause pour la cause

With over a quarter of Canadians expressing a feeling of discomfort when around an individual with poor mental health, the Bell Let's Talk initiative encourages Canadians to rethink and learn more about the judgments they associate with the 20% of the population that has been diagnosed with a mental illness.[5][7] The Bell Let's Talk Day fundraiser occurs annually, typically in late January or early February. [2] On this day, the public can take action via text, phone call, or on various social media platforms. These platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. For each interaction made, Bell Canada makes a small monetary contribution toward mental health awareness. [5] The success of the campaign relies heavily on the help Bell Let's Talk's ambassadors and spokespeople. Ambassadors including Canadian veterans, comedian Kevin Breel, and the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mike Babcock, encourage their fellow Canadians to use their voices on this day to end the silence. By sharing their own experiences, spokespeople such as Howie Mandel and Serena Ryder speak about the differences that were made when they sought help for their own mental health.[6] Hundreds of millions of interactions have been made over previous years because of the following that these well-known celebrities hold.[2]

Clara's Big Ride[edit]

Other events are also hosted to promote the Bell Let's Talk campaign. In 2014, campaign host Clara Hughes biked for 110 days to advocate for mental health awareness. The bike ride began in Toronto in mid-March and concluded in Ottawa at the beginning of July on Canada Day.[8] On this 12,000 kilometre journey, Hughes talked about her battle with depression with the thousands of people she met. 95 communities were visited along the way.[9]

Impact[edit]

The organizations that receive funding from Bell Canada span a broad range. They vary from small, local initiatives providing affordable care to residents, to public universities conducting research on mental health topics. [5] Over the past 8 years, Bell has worked directly with the government of Canada to provide stronger mental health support to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).[10] They have also provided funding to the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) over the past 6 years, an organization who strives to provide affordable mental healthcare to all Canadians.[11] More recently, Bell partnered with the governments of the Atlantic provinces in 2017 to provide $2 million to the Strongest Families Institute over a span of four years. This partnership will reach above an estimated 2,000 families whose children have been impacted by mental illness in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Olympian Clara Hughes joins mental-health campaign". CTV News. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Booth, RG (2018). "Youth Mental Health Services Utilization Rates After a Large-Scale Social Media Campaign: Population-Based Interrupted Time-Series Analysis". JMIR Mental Health. 5: e27 – via EBSCOHost.
  3. ^ Yagoda, Maria (27 January 2016). "Why Are Millions of People Tweeting #BellLetsTalk?". People. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  4. ^ Forani, Jonathan (31 January 2018). "Bell Let's Talk hits 138 million interactions as celebrities join in". CTV News. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Miller, Adam (2 April 2013). "Mental health awareness campaign exposes challenges in combatting stigma". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 185: 241–242 – via EBSCOhost.
  6. ^ a b "Bell Let's Talk Day 2017 to Highlight Ways to Support Mental Health Care". Entertainment Close-Up. 30 December 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Bell Let's Talk Day lifted 'cloak of secrecy' around mental illness, say advocates". CBC News. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Clara's Big Ride". DIFD. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Clara Hughes begins 'Big Ride' to promote mental health". CBC Sports. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Joint Statement on Bell Let's Talk Day". Government of Canada. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  11. ^ "CAMIMH is Proud to work with Bell Let's Talk to share the stories of individuals living with mental illness". Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Atlantic Provinces and Bell Let's Talk Partner to Promote Child and Youth Mental Health". Professional Services Close-Up. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2018.

External Links[edit]

Bell Canada website: https://www.bell.ca/

Bell Let's Talk website: https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/