Bell announced Monday that its national mental health initiative is being extended for another five years, upping financial support to $100 million by the end of 2020. Since its launch, Bell Let’s Talk has funded more than 600 mental health partners across the country – including several CMHA branches in Ontario and nationwide.
Bell Let’s Talk has tried to change the conversation about mental health issues in Canada since launching the initiative in September 2010.
It has aimed “to help create a stigma-free Canada and drive action in mental health care, research and the workplace.”
“Working to eliminate stigmas and stereotypes associated with mental health will decrease discrimination,” CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville said. “People with lived experiences of mental health should not be burdened by public misperceptions.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Bell has made such a tremendous financial commitment for the next five years, their leadership is simply outstanding.”
Mental health issues remain the primary cause of workplace disability and cost the national economy more than $50 billion each year. One in five Canadians will struggle with a mental illness at some point in their lives. However, only one third will seek the help they need, largely because of the lingering stigma.
Bell is committed to growing its funding though the engagement of Canadians.
The company donates five cents for messages of hope and support sent on Bell Let’s Talk Day, including calls, texts, shares and tweets.
With approximately 470 million of these interactions by Canadians over the last five Bell Let’s Talk Days, Bell’s total commitment to mental health has grown to $73,623,413.80.
The next Bell Let’s Talk Day is Jan. 27, 2016.