The 2016 Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is now receiving applications

  • $1 million to support local projects improving access to mental health care
  • Over 250 groups from coast to coast to coast have already shared more than $5 million in grants
  • Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk for more information and to apply

MONTRÉAL, Jan. 22, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced the launch of the $1-million annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund for 2016. Applications are now being accepted for grants for community-based mental health initiatives improving access to care around the country.

"The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is focused on improving access to care for people living with mental health issues through local projects and grassroots organizations in communities all around Canada," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Over the last 5 years we have seen so many wonderful initiatives that have truly made a difference in the lives of Canadians and we are delighted to invite many more local mental health organizations to apply for grants again this year."

Since 2011, the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund has supported more than 250 community groups in every region of Canada. Registered not-for-profit organizations and registered charities are invited to apply for a grant to help fund local mental health programs.  Applications are reviewed by mental health experts from across Canada. The 2016 application period runs until March 31 and 2016 Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2016.

"It is important to recognize that we need to take care of our mental health the same way as we take care of our physical health. However, mental health sometimes gets overlooked," said the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health. "The Bell Let's Talk initiative has been successfully opening up the dialogue on mental health in Canada. I congratulate Bell, its partners and Canadians who are sharing their personal struggles with mental illness as a way of encouraging everyone to get involved in finding solutions."

"Northern Ontarians deserve healthy communities that promote good mental health and well-being, as well as a responsive, culturally appropriate mental health care delivery system. This does not yet exist in all our Northern Ontario communities," said Dr. Catherine Cervin, Associate Dean, Postgraduate Education, at Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). "With funding from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, NOSM is creating Wellness Peer Networks to provide further education to NOSM residents to enable them to protect their own mental health during the stress of their education, while also equipping them with the ability to provide high-quality care to future patients who may be struggling with mental health challenges. We are grateful for the support of Bell Let's Talk in developing a healthier Northern Ontario."

To learn more about the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund and the projects it has funded, or to apply for 2016 funding, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Bell Let's Talk Day is January 27
The 6th annual Bell Let's Talk Day is rapidly approaching. For every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers on January 27, or for every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents to support Canadian mental health programs. On Bell Let's Talk Day 2015, a record 122,150,772 calls, tweets, texts, calls and shares resulted in Bell committing a further $6,107,538.60 to Canadian mental health programs.

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.

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

To learn more about the Bell Let's Talk campaign, and to download the Bell Let's Talk toolkit to help get the conversation started, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home, and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca

Media inquiries:

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

SOURCE Bell Canada

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