St. John Ambulance integrates mental health into First Aid courses with Bell Let's Talk support

OTTAWA, Jan. 23, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Let's Talk today announced a $150,000 donation to St. John Ambulance that will support the integration of mental health training in standard and emergency First Aid courses.

"Addressing healthcare needs should include a person's access to mental health support. With the support of Bell Let's Talk, St. John Ambulance is poised to evolve our First Aid courses, which are delivered to more than 500,000 Canadians each year, to include a new mental health component," said Philip Clarke, Chancellor of St. John Ambulance.

"We currently offer Mental Health First Aid courses in several provinces stemming from our partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Integrating a mental health module into our standard and emergency First Aid courses is the next evolution of our commitment to the mental health of Canadians."

The integrated module will be available nationally starting in 2018. Courses in English and French will be offered in workplaces, hospitals, schools, and communities. Canadians will learn what to do in an emergency, including how to recognize high risk situations and when to escalate quickly to professionals.

"Having someone nearby who is trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness can make such an important difference for someone experiencing a crisis," said Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson Clara Hughes. "Providing initial help and guiding a person toward appropriate professional resources is just as important for our mental health as for our physical well being."

"This partnership with St. John Ambulance demonstrates that mental health is integral to an individual's overall health and that it is important for everyone to learn to be mental health First Aiders and recognize when someone who may be struggling needs help," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk.

Wednesday is Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell Let's Talk Day 2017 is January 25, when Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every text message, mobile call and long distance call made by Bell customers; every tweet and Instagram post using #BellLetsTalk; every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video on Facebook; and every use of the Bell Let's Talk geofilter on Snapchat.

Bell Let's Talk now has its own hashtag emoji on Twitter. Whenever you type #BellLetsTalk or #BellCause in Twitter, the Bell Let's Talk logo automatically appears at the end of the hashtag.

Bell's donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let's Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply. Bell Let's Talk Day 2016 set new records for engagement with 125.9 million messages of support, and Bell increased its funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75.

About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaign, like Bell Let's Talk Day, alongside significant Bell funding for community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About St. John Ambulance
St. John Ambulance is an international humanitarian organization and is a foundation of the Order of St. John. As Canada's standard for excellence in First Aid and CPR services, St. John Ambulance offers innovative programs, ensuring Canadians receive the best quality training. Revenue generated from First Aid/CPR training supports St. John Ambulance's charitable work. To learn more, please visit www.sja.ca.

Media inquiries:

Clara Wicke, Director of Marketing and Communications 
St. John Ambulance – National Office
(613) 236-1283 ext. 261
(613) 853-6123 (c)
clara.wicke@nhq.sja.ca

Jacqueline Michelis
Bell
(613) 785-1427
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
@Bell_News

SOURCE Bell Canada

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