$1 million to UBC's Institute of Mental Health for Bell Youth Mental Health IMPACT Project
$250,000 supports Streetohome and Covenant House Semi-Independent Housing Program
Clara Hughes announces second annual Bell Let's Talk Day on February 8, 2012
VANCOUVER, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Canada today announced
gifts of $1.25 million to support mental health in British Columbia,
including $1 million to the University of British Columbia's Institute
of Mental Health (IMH) for the Bell Youth Mental Health IMPACT Project,
and $250,000 to the Streetohome Foundation as part of Covenant House
Vancouver's Semi-Independent Housing Program.
"We are very proud to welcome UBC and Streetohome as our newest partners
in the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative," said George Cope,
President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. "The research, care and
access these mental health leaders will provide to youth and young
adults support key pillars in Bell's national mental health program.
Alongside anti-stigma efforts like Bell Let's Talk Day, this important
work is changing attitudes and driving action to promote mental health
across our country."
UBC's Bell Youth Mental Health IMPACT Project
The IMPACT Project will allow UBC researchers to develop new web-based
strategies to encourage and facilitate help-seeking behavior, including
providing access to informed decision-making, assessment and
interventions in young adults coping with symptoms of anxiety,
depression and related conditions throughout BC. The project will also
explore online expert consultation services for young adults and
primary care providers in remote regions of BC.
"As with all UBC initiatives, the Bell Mental Health IMPACT Project will
seamlessly integrate our core objectives of teaching, research and
community engagement," said Sarah Morgan-Silvester, Chancellor, UBC.
"Bell's generous donation comes at a very exciting time, as UBC
launches its Start an Evolution capital campaign."
"The Bell Let's Talk initiative is embracing a range of partners, from
major mental health institutions to the many grassroots organizations
in British Columbia that are part of the Bell Let's Talk Community
Fund," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk initiative. "We
are pleased to partner with UBC's Institute of Mental Health as they
develop innovative technological solutions to enhance care and access
for young adults, and with Streetohome as they work directly to provide
care for homeless youth affected by mental illness."
Bell today announced a $250,000 contribution to the Streetohome
Foundation, dedicated to providing support to homeless and at-risk
youth living with mental health and addiction issues. As part of
Covenant House Vancouver's Semi-Independent Housing Program, where
trained and highly experienced staff will help create a safe housing
environment, the program will provide mental health and addictions
evaluations, offer counseling and psychiatric support as well as
addictions management counseling, and help these youth develop
essential life skills.
"Bell's contribution attests to the success of the collaborative work
being carried out by organizations like Streetohome and Covenant House
Vancouver," said Dick Vollet, President & CEO Streetohome. "We know
that mental illness dramatically decreases the chances of homeless
youth securing safe and affordable housing. We are very proud to have
the support of the Bell Let's Talk initiative in addressing this
Bell Let's Talk Day - February 8, 2012
Canadian Olympian and Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson Clara Hughes
today announced that the second annual Bell Let's Talk Day will take
place on February 8, 2012.
Bell Let's Talk Day is a national event to get people talking about
mental health and fight the pervasive stigma around mental illness.
Bell donates 5 cents to mental health initiatives for every text
message and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers
on Bell Let's Talk Day. The more than 66 million text messages and long
distance calls made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers on the inaugural
Bell Let's Talk Day in February 2011 generated $3.3 million in new Bell
funding for Canadian mental health programs.
"Canada really stepped up on Bell Let's Talk Day 2011 to help break the
continuing stigma around mental illness, a stigma that actually means
that most who suffer from the disease won't seek the help they need,"
said Ms. Hughes. "Let's keep breaking down the barriers of fear and
misunderstanding - join me and Canadians from sea to sea to sea in the
national conversation about mental health on Bell Let's Talk Day,
February 8 2012."
The facts of mental illness and its impact underscore the need for
accelerated support for mental health at all levels in Canada:
At least 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a form of mental illness at some
point in their lives - every one of us has a family member, friend or
colleague who will experience mental illness
Mental health funding is modest relative to other health care issues -
mental illness represents 15% of Canada's health care burden but
receives just 5% of health care funding
Just one-third of Canadians who need mental health services actually
Mental illness is the number one cause of workplace disability in Canada
- accounting for 30% of disability claims and 70% of disability costs
Mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion each year in lost
productivity - every day, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to
a form of mental illness
The Bell Let's Talk Mental Health Initiative
Bell Let's Talk is a $50-million, multi-year charitable program that
promotes mental health across Canada based on four key pillars:
anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices.
It's the largest-ever corporate investment in mental health in Canada.
To learn more about the Bell Mental Health Initiative and the Bell
Let's Talk anti-stigma campaign, please visit bell.ca/letstalk.
UBC - Institute of Mental Health
The UBC Faculty of Medicine provides innovative programs in the health
and life sciences, teaching students at the undergraduate, graduate and
postgraduate levels. Its faculty members received $295 million in
research funds, 54 percent of UBC's total research revenues, in
2010-11. For more information, visit www.med.ubc.ca . The UBC Institute of Mental Health is home to a community of
clinicians and scientists who are fully committed to re-examining the
field of mental health and mental illness, and to seeking new insights
into the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most challenging issues
in modern medicine.
About Streetohome Foundation
Streetohome is dedicated to ensuring that residents of our city have
access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the support they need to
make a difference in their lives. Streetohome is the first organization
in Vancouver to take a systematic approach to addressing both
homelessness and its root causes. Learn more at www.streetohome.org.
About Covenant House
Covenant House provides three core programs (street outreach/daily
drop-in, crisis shelter and a 6 - 24 months transitional living
program) for homeless and at-risk young people aged 16-24. Through a
carefully designed "continuum of care," Covenant House assists young
people from the moment when we first meet them on the street right
through to full independence when they graduate from our transitional
living program. All three programs are supported by in-house drug and
alcohol counsellors, mental health clinicians and access to
psychiatrists. Last year, over 1400 young people came to Covenant
House looking for a way off the streets. Learn more at www.covenanthousebc.org.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and
business with solutions to all their communications needs: Bell
Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell Satellite TV and Bell
Fibe TV, Bell Home Phone local and long distance, and Bell Business
Markets IP-broadband and information and communications technology
(ICT) services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with
leading assets in television, radio and digital media, including CTV,
Canada's #1 television network, and the country's most-watched
specialty channels. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE).
For Bell products and services, please visit Bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca.
SOURCE BELL CANADA
For further information:
or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact:
Bell Media Relations
UBC Faculty of Medicine
604 629-2711 ext.104