Today is Bell Let's Talk Day. Join the conversation about mental health.

28 Jan 2014

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HALIFAX, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Canadians will change behaviours and attitudes about mental health issues when they talk and text in support of Bell Let's Talk Day. For every text message, mobile call, and long distance call by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image, Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health programs across the country. Last year, in one day, Canadians participated in a big way, generating 96,266,266 calls, texts, tweets and Facebook shares resulting in a $4.8-million donation to mental health in Canada.

"Bell Let's Talk Day continues to grow every year," said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO, Bell Aliant. "The participation of so many Canadians translates into better access to care and more resources. Equally important are the conversations the day generates; people are really talking about mental health - and that's what Bell Let's Talk Day is all about."

From large institution-based programs to grassroots community projects, Bell Let's Talk funding breaks down barriers and reduces stigma by sparking insightful, open and honest conversations about mental illness. As part of Bell Let's Talk Day, national spokesperson Seamus O'Regan will visit two community organizations in Halifax:

Leave Out Violence (LOVE)
At Leave Out Violence, Seamus will present a $5,000 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund donation to support the LOVE's leadership programs in First Nation's communities in Nova Scotia, including Indian Brook and Membertou. LOVE provides programs to help youth who have experienced violence.

Laing House
Laing House is a long-time Bell Aliant community partner. Seamus will join members during their regular Tuesday gathering when they prepare supper in the Laing House kitchen. Laing House was the first Bell Let's Talk Community Fund recipient in Nova Scotia. The organization provides peer support for youth living with mental illness, and a caring and supportive environment for members to embrace their unique gifts and find their way.

In the past week, Bell Aliant promoted Bell Let's Talk Day at several key events to build momentum across its operating territory.

  • On Saturday, January 25, Halifax's Grand Parade was the scene of a spectacular 3D light show - the first of its kind in Halifax. Almost 1,000 people participated in the #ShineaLight on Mental Health event. The show will play tonight at 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm and 8.30pm at the Grand Parade.
  • In St John's, Bell Let's Talk spokesperson Seamus O'Regan took part in a special Kids Help Phone school assembly at St. Paul's Junior High School. Teens had the opportunity to meet Seamus and learn about a 24/7 free counselling service available to them. Kids Help Phone is just one of the thousands of organizations that benefit from the money raised on Bell Let's Talk Day.

About Bell Let's Talk
Launched in 2010, the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a national charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada with significant funding for community care, research, and workplace best practices, and fights the stigma around mental illness with high-profile events like Bell Let's Talk Day.

To date, Bell has already committed $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health, based on its original $50 million commitment and participation in Bell Let's Talk Day since 2011.

So far this year, Bell Let's Talk has announced a $2.5 million donation for Kids Help Phone to support the mental health of young people in Canada; the $1 million Bell Canada Chair in Adolescent Mood & Anxiety Disorders at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto; $225,000 for the Université Laval Foundation in Québec City to support student mental health; and, in partnership with Morneau Shepell and Queen's University, Canada's first university-certified workplace mental health training program in support of Canada's National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Bell Aliant's community program focuses on mental health. Since 2011, Bell Aliant has established 163 new mental health partnerships that help reduce stigma and increase access to care, such as Dots NB; Laing House, NS; Health PEI and Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador.

About Bell Aliant

Bell Aliant (TSX:BA.TO - News) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP™ services. Through its operating entities, it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality customer service, choice and convenience.

SOURCE Bell Aliant Inc.

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