MONTREAL, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell announced today that author,
composer and performer Stefie Shock and actor-comedian Michel Mpambara
will be joining Olympian Clara Hughes to grow the dialogue on mental
health on the second annual Bell Let's Talk Day, next February 8.
"I am touched that Stefie Shock and Michel Mpambara have agreed to join
me to share their personal stories and help brighten the spotlight on
mental health," said Bell Let's Talk Day national spokesperson Clara
Hughes. "Last year, Canadians answered our call, and as a result Bell
donated $3.3 million more to support mental health organizations in
Québec and across Canada." On Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell donate 5 cents
to mental health initiatives for every text message and long distance
call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers that day.
"Talking about mental illness is the first and best thing we can do to
gain a better understanding of mental health," said Bell Let's Talk Day
spokesperson Stefie Shock. "I am open about my anxiety disorder, and I
want to get everyone to start talking openly about mental health
issues. The stigma surrounding mental illness is one of the main
barriers to getting treatment."
"Too few people affected by mental illness get the help they need, and
far too many people take too long to recognize the problem and speak
out about it," added Bell Let's Talk Day spokesperson Michel Mpambara.
"In 2005, my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with
bipolar and manic-depressive disorders. I want to help reduce the
stigma around mental health and give new hope to people with mental
illnesses and their loved ones."
Bell Let's Talk Day is a national event to get people talking about
mental health and fight the pervasive stigma around mental illness.
More than 66 million text messages and long distance calls were made by
Bell and Bell Aliant customers on the inaugural Bell Let's Talk Day in
"A growing network of partners are benefitting from and lending their
own support to the Bell Let's Talk initiative, from leading mental
health institutions to the many Québec community organizations that
received grants from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, as well as our
Let's Talk Day spokespersons," explained Martine Turcotte, Bell's Vice
Chair, Québec. "We are pleased that Stefie Shock and Michel Mpambara
are joining forces with Clara Hughes to shed light on mental health
"Canada really stepped up on Bell Let's Talk Day 2011 to help break the
continuing stigma around mental illness, a stigma that actually means
that most who suffer from the disease won't seek the help they need,"
said Ms. Hughes. "Let's keep breaking down the barriers of fear and
misunderstanding - join me and Canadians from sea to sea to sea in the
national conversation about mental health on Bell Let's Talk Day,
February 8, 2012."
The facts of mental illness and its impact underscore the need for
accelerated support for mental health at all levels in Canada:
At least 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a form of mental illness at some
point in their lives - every one of us has a family member, friend or
colleague who will experience mental illness
Mental health funding is modest relative to other health care issues -
mental illness represents 15% of Canada's health care burden but
receives just 5% of health care funding
Just one-third of Canadians who need mental health services actually
Mental illness is the number one cause of workplace disability in Canada
- accounting for 30% of disability claims and 70% of disability costs
Mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion each year in lost
productivity - every day, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to
a form of mental illness
The Bell Let's Talk Mental Health Initiative
Bell Let's Talk is a $50-million, multi-year charitable program that
promotes mental health across Canada based on four key pillars:
anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices.
It's the largest-ever corporate investment in mental health in Canada.
To learn more about the Bell Mental Health Initiative and the Bell
Let's Talk anti-stigma campaign, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
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.
SOURCE BELL CANADA
For further information:
Bell Media Relations