Bell creates world's first chair in anti-stigma research at Queen's

  • $1 million gift establishes the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair
  • Bell Let's Talk Day on February 8 focused on ending the stigma around mental illness

KINGSTON, ON, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Canada and Queen's University today announced a world-first with the establishment of a new $1-million research initiative to help fight stigma associated with mental illness.

The Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair will enable Queen's Faculty of Health Sciences to advance its anti-stigma research, scholarship and outreach programs.

"Bell's generous donation has allowed Queen's to appoint a leading scholar to further this important field of study," says Dr. Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University. "We welcome this opportunity to work with the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative as we continue to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness; Bell has helped today to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians now and in the future."

The first Chair holder is internationally-renowned Queen's professor of Community Health & Epidemiology Heather Stuart. As chair, Dr. Stuart will continue her multi-disciplinary work developing and disseminating best practices in stigma reduction, expand her applied research collaborations around the world and raise awareness about the significance of mental health and mental health research.

"We are very proud to welcome Queen's University as our newest partner in the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative," said Thomas O'Neill, Chair of the Board, BCE. "The Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair aligns directly with our initiative's research and anti-stigma pillars. We could not be more pleased that this unique chair will be held by a researcher of Dr. Stuart's calibre at a university so well regarded for its research leadership."

The gift is the latest announcement in Bell's $50 million commitment to Canadian mental health. The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is providing significant funding for leading mental health hospitals and community organizations, driving new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research - including this world-first research chair at Queen's.

"Stigma is the reason two-thirds of all those living with a mental illness will not seek help," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative. "By enabling Queen's to expand its anti-stigma research, we are building on the Bell Let's Talk commitment to fight stigma, support research and improve mental health care in communities across Canada."

On Bell Let's Talk Day, February 8, for every text message sent and every long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health (regular long distance and text charges apply). Bell is also encouraging Canadians to follow the campaign on Twitter @Bell_LetsTalk and share a smile with a friend in support of mental health on Facebook at facebook.com/BellCanada. On February 8, Canadians will also be invited to retweet the Bell Let's Talk Day message. For each retweet, Bell will donate an additional 5 cents.

Bell Let's Talk is a five-year, $50-million charitable program based on four action pillars: Anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices.To learn more, 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: 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.

About Queen's

Queen's is one of Canada's leading universities, with an international reputation for scholarship, research, social purpose, and spirit. Consistently highly-ranked, Queen's is known for its incomparable 24-hour learning environment. Great teaching, great students, community and tradition - these are the hallmarks of the Queen's experience.

To speak to Dr. Stuart, please contact Michael Onesi, Queen's News and Media Services, 613-533-6000 x 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca

SOURCE BELL CANADA

For further information:

Bell media contact:

Jacqueline Michelis
Bell Media Relations
613 785-1427
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca

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