Bell Let’s Talk Initiative for Mental Health
Bell envisions a Canada where every individual has access to mental health support. Bell is a telecommunications company that launched a mental health initiative in 2010. Their main goal is to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health issues in Canada. Fast forward to five years, in 2015, Bell Lets Talk renewed for a five-year period and extended their target to $100 million. This initiative was further extended in 2020 for an additional five years with the goal of $155 million.
Recently, Bell has announced an additional $10 million donation towards their goal of $155 million.
Bell Let’s Talk Day
Bell Let’s Talk Day has become quite popular. It is credited as the world’s largest conversation about mental health and the steps we need to take to raise awareness. Throughout the talks, Bell encourages open discussions about real change, challenges, and opportunities in the mental health space. Not only this, but Bell also promotes access to mental health resources and services.
About Bell Let’s Talk Day
Bell Let’s Talk Day is typically observed on the last Wednesday of January each year. Bell also chooses specific themes for the Bell Let’s Talk Day, with the 2023 theme being “Let’s Create Positive Change.“
In 2023, on this particular day, Bell Canada donated funds towards mental health initiatives based on the engagement and participation of the public. Each time an individual would engage in mental health-related conversation on social media, using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, or #BellCause (in Canadian French), Bell would contribute to various mental health organizations across the country. Because of this initiative, a total of 1.3 billion interactions were registered across various forms of media. Meanwhile, #BellLetsTalk became the top trending topic on Twitter in 2015, and in 2018, it was the most-used Canadian hashtag on Twitter, reports blog.twitter.com.
Community Support and Mental Health Services
Since its inception in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with over 1,400 organizations across Canada that are actively providing mental health support and services. This support has enabled 6 million Canadians to access mental health services. Even more, 115 deserving recipients recently got selected for the 2023 Community Fund and received a total of $2 million in grants with a focus on improving community-based mental health organizations. Amongst them, 16 of these organizations are actively working to address the housing crisis faced by individuals struggling with mental health issues, reports Newswire.ca.
Over the years, numerous public figures, organizations, and individuals have actively joined in the discussions, including Olympian Clara Hughes, as well as prominent post-secondary institutions such as York University and Toronto Metropolitan University.
Through Bell’s efforts, ⅓ of Canadians say they have taken action related to mental health since Bell Let’s Talk Day began. As a result, there is an increased awareness related to mental health issues, available resources, and support services.