Bell Let's Talk makes $2 million donation to Montréal's Douglas Institute

  • Unprecedented donation to Douglas supports mental health research at its unique brain bank
  • Part of Bell's $20 million commitment to Québec mental health over five years
  • Total of $6 million already donated to more than 20 Québec mental health hospitals, research centres and community organizations

MONTREAL, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell announced today that it is donating $2 million to the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montréal for research activities associated with the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank, a world-class brain centre unique in Canada. The gift is the latest announcement in Bell's $20 million commitment to Québec mental health, part of the national Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative.

"The $2 million Bell Let's Talk donation to the Douglas today supports the institute's unique brain bank, driving new research into the causes and effects of mental illness, said Martine Turcotte, Bell's Vice Chair, Québec. "The Bell Let's Talk team welcomes the Douglas as the latest partner in our $20 million Québec mental health program."

Since launching Bell Let's Talk in late 2010, Bell has invested $6 million in more than 20 Québec mental health hospitals, research centres and community organizations. As well as the Douglas, recipients have included the Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine Foundation, the Fondation Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne, the Mental Illness Foundation, the Portage Foundation, Kids Help Phone, and Fondation les Petits trésors of the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies.

Bell Let's Talk Community Fund
In addition, the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund has donated a total of $400,000 to 15 other local organizations across Québec. The work of these community groups supports both the fight against the stigma around mental illness, and new initiatives to improve access to mental health care.

On January 16, the $1 million national Bell Let's Talk Community Fund launched its second annual call for applications. In 2011, the Community Fund supported 49 groups in every region of Canada, with grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.To learn more about the fund and apply, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

February 8 is Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell Let's Talk Day is a Canada-wide event that invites everyone to join the conversation about mental health, increasing awareness and understanding of mental illness and fighting the stigma around the disease.

"Because of the stigma, too few who suffer from mental illness will get the help they need. By talking about the disease and its impact, we hope to raise awareness and understanding of the challenge of mental illness - and what we can all do to help," explained actor-comedian Michel Mpambara, spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk Day. "As part of the Bell Let's Talk campaign, I am eager to continue to take action to give hope to those who struggle with mental illness."

Since January 16, Bell Let's Talk 2012 has been supported by a major national promotional campaign involving TV, print, radio, outdoor and online advertising, social media and special events. And with the generous support of a vast range of media, sports, business and community organizations - including Astral Media, the Montréal Canadiens, Radio-Canada and RDS/CTV in Québec - the anti-stigma message will be delivered from coast to coast to coast.

The campaign culminates on Bell Let's Talk Day on February 8. For every text message sent and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers that day, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health (regular long distance and text charges apply). In 2011, Canadians responded with a total of 66,079,236 text messages and long distance calls on Bell Let's Talk Day - meaning Bell donated another $3,303,961.80 to mental health programs.

Bell is also encouraging Canadians to follow the campaign on Twitter at @Bell_LetsTalk, and to join in retweeting the Bell Let's Talk Day message on February 8. For each retweet, Bell will donate an additional 5 cents.

The national Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative 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
Headquartered in Montréal, 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 product and service information, please visit Bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca.

Image with caption: "Lynne McVey, Director General, Douglas Institute, George Cope, CEO Bell and BCE, Martine Turcotte, Executive Vice Chair, Québec, Bell, Naguib Mechawar, PhD., Director of the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank, Jane Lalonde, President of the Douglas Foundation (CNW Group/BELL CANADA)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120201_C8429_PHOTO_EN_9498.jpg

SOURCE BELL CANADA

For further information:

Media inquiries: 

Marie-Ève Francoeur
Bell Media Relations
514 391-5263
marie-eve.francoeur@bell.ca
@Bell_News

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