Getting set for seventh Bell Let’s Talk Day to support mental health

Every day is good day to talk about mental health. But it’s an even better day when that conversation supports a worthy cause.

On Wednesday, January 25, Canadians can easily support mental health initiatives and the people who need them thanks to Bell Let’s Talk Day, now in its seventh year.

It’s so simple to join in and can be done from anywhere on your mobile phone.

Whether you’re talking, texting, or sharing on social media, Bell will donate five cents for each eligible action (details below). The goal is to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and provide funding for access, care, and research.

Results and impact of Bell Let’s Talk Day

Since the first Bell Let’s Talk Day in 2011, six-time Olympic medallist Clara Hughes has been at the forefront of the campaign, disclosing her struggles with depression. In 2014 she cycled across Canada with Clara’s Big Ride, an inspiring and emotional 110-day journey over 11,000 kilometres through 105 communities to share stories and promote positive changes in the perception of mental illness.

But Hughes is certainly not the only Canadian Olympic athlete to be affected by mental illness. To help do its part, the Canadian Olympic Committee is a partner in Game Plan, a total wellness program for athletes that supports them during their high performance careers and beyond.

One in five Canadians – regardless of age, gender, or social standing – is personally affected by mental illness at some point in their life. But the stigma associated with it is the number one reason why two-thirds of those suffering do not seek help.

You can help change that on Bell Let’s Talk Day.

For each of the following actions, Bell will donate five cents to its Community Fund, which funnels the money to mental health initiatives across the country:

  • Every text message (don’t forget to turn off iMessage!) and mobile or long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers
  • Every Tweet or Instagram post using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk
  • Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter on Snapchat
  • Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Facebook

With more ways than ever before to participate, the goal is to break last year’s record for Bell Let’s Talk Day, which saw 125,915,295 interactions for a total of $6,295,764.75 donated. Over the last six years, more than 640,000 people have been given access to mental health care thanks to nearly $80 million dollars donated to 345 organizations.

Aside from raising money, Bell Let’s Talk Day is also fulfilling a mission of education. Four out of five Canadians now report that they are more aware of mental health issues than when the campaign was first launched.

How to help end the stigma of mental illness

Five ways in which you can help end the stigma are to educate yourself about the facts and myths of mental illness, understand that language matters and words can hurt as much as help, be kind and listen to someone who is struggling. And of course, talk about it.

After all, no one should suffer in silence.

Bell has been a Premier National Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team since 1999.