Canada answers Clara Hughes' call on Bell Let's Talk Day - Bell donates $3,303,961.80 more to mental health initiatives

Unprecedented engagement by Canadians to help lift the stigma around mental illness
66,079,236 total Bell text messages and long distance calls on Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell donates 5 cents for each text and LD call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers

MONTREAL, Feb. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell and Bell Aliant customers answered the call of Olympian Clara Hughes to talk like never before in support of Canadian mental health on Bell Let's Talk Day. With a total of 66,079,236 text messages and long-distance calls made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers on February 9, Bell's donation of 5 cents per message and long-distance call means the company is giving $3,303,961.80 more to Canadian mental health initiatives.

Bell Let's Talk Day invited Canadians to join the conversation to lift the stigma around mental illness. Led by national Bell Let's Talk Day spokesperson Clara Hughes, they talked and texted even more than the day her fellow Olympian Sidney Crosby scored hockey Gold for Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

"Thank you for talking Canada! On Bell Let's Talk Day you really stepped up to help break the stigma around mental illness that keeps too many Canadians from seeking help," said Ms. Hughes. "I'm very proud to be part of the conversation with you that is doing so much to promote mental health across our great country."

"Canadians spoke loud and clear in their support of mental health on Bell Let's Talk Day, and that means Bell will donate $3,303,961.80 in addition to the $50 million already committed to the five-year Bell Mental Health Initiative," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "To our wonderful national spokesperson Clara Hughes and to every Canadian talking to lift the stigma around mental illness health, we offer our thanks and congratulations for all you are doing for Canadian mental health."

Bell Let's Talk Day was supported by a national promotional campaign focused on the world-famous smile of Clara Hughes, Canada's six-time Olympic medalist, who related her own story of depression in the campaign. As part of the Bell Let's Talk campaign, tens of thousands of Canadians joined the mental health conversation by visiting bell.ca/letstalk and posting their smiles next to Clara's.

As the high-profile anti-stigma component of the Bell Mental Health Initiative, Bell Let's Talk Day encourages discussion of mental illness to help ensure people get the help they need. Most of the 1 in 5 Canadians who will suffer from mental illness in their lifetimes won't seek treatment because of the stigma around the disease.

"Bell's work to advance Canadian mental health is built on 4 Pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research, and Workplace Health. We are incredibly grateful for the response to Bell Let's Talk Day, which both supports new understanding and de-stigmatization of mental illness and enhances Bell's support for all 4 Pillars of our program," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative.

To learn more about how the Bell Mental Health Initiative is making a difference, please visit bell.ca/letstalk.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including 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 is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For information on Bell products and services, please visit bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit bce.ca.


SOURCE BCE COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

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Media inquiries:

Albert Lee
Bell Media Relations
(905) 614-6604
albert.lee@bell.ca

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