- Bell Outpatient Reception & Waiting Area to welcome patients and their families in new Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre
- Bell Let's Talk Day is January 28 - learn more at Bell.ca/LetsTalk
VANCOUVER, Jan. 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and Bell today announced a gift of $1 million from Bell Let's Talk to support the new Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre. When it opens in Spring 2017, the Centre will be the largest purpose-built mental health facility in British Columbia and one of the largest in Canada.
"The Bell Let's Talk commitment to mental health in Canada is nothing short of inspiring," said Barbara Grantham, Foundation President and CEO. "This $1 million gift will enable us to transform the way we treat patients suffering from mental illness and/or addiction, and for that, we are very grateful."
With Bell's donation, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has reached its fundraising goal for construction of this innovative mental health centre. The new state-of-the-art mental health building will consolidate mental health inpatient and outpatient programs into one facility, increasing capacity and access to care for people living with mental illness.
"We're grateful to have the opportunity to put the finishing touch to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation's fundraising campaign for the Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre. The campaign's great success proves the commitment of British Columbians to good mental health and improved access to care," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Bell Let's Talk is proud to support the Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre alongside other leading hospitals and other institutions across Canada that are expanding care options and driving new research in mental health care."
With 100 private rooms, the Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre's mental health program will be the largest hospital-based program for people with serious mental health issues in the province and will have the largest inpatient and outpatient population of any other hospital in the region. It is anticipated that the centre will treat up to 1,900 people in the inpatient program and as many as 30,000 people in the outpatient program annually.
Designed to aid recovery with natural light, calming colours and textures to create healing environments, each floor will have quiet spaces for reading and meditating. Patients will have access to nature - outdoor gardens and courtyards - as well as exercise facilities, TV and Internet. The second-floor entrance will lead to the Bell Outpatient Reception & Waiting Area, a welcoming space featuring a built-in aquarium providing a calm and colourful environment. All of these elements, combined with the extensive mental health expertise that exists in Vancouver, will make this new facility a model of mental health care.
"Bell's gift will help us increase access to mental health services," adds Dr. Soma Ganesan, VGH Medical Director of Psychiatry. "One in five Canadians is diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. This new facility is designed to provide an appropriate environment for patients to heal, for families to receive the best support, and will allow staff to provide care in a safe environment. Our goal is to give every patient the tools they need to manage their illness and live in the community with dignity and respect."
With a prominent location in the heart of the VGH campus, fronted by a new pedestrian park, the Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre will also reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. The way patients with acute mental illness will receive treatment will be transformed from the moment they step into the building. Patients will get the right care, at the right time, in the right place, by the right person in the best possible environment, including an entire floor dedicated to outpatient programs to help those discharged from hospitals and others who come directly from the community. These important programs help patients to integrate and live independently in their own communities. With over 30,000 annual patient visits to mental health outpatient clinics, this floor will be a hub of activity - both from a patient treatment perspective and a research stand point.
Construction has already begun on the $82 million LEED Gold building which opens in 2017. In addition to support from Bell, the Government of British Columbia and many VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation corporate and private donors have supported the campaign, including Vancouver philanthropists Joseph and Rosalie Segal with a lead gift of $12 million - one of the largest personal gifts ever given to support mental health care in Canada.
To donate or learn more about the centre, please visit vghfoundation.ca/mentalhealth.
Bell Let's Talk Day is January 28
On January 28, for every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of that day's Bell Let's Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs.
In 2014, Canadians answered the call with a total of 109,451,718 messages including texts, wireless and long distance calls, tweets and Facebook shares, meaning Bell added another $5,472,585.90 to its Bell Let's Talk funding commitment. Based on its original $50 million donation and the results of the last 4 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell has now committed more than $67.5 million to Canadian mental health.
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.
The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative
Bell Let's Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars - anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. The initiative supports mental health leaders across the country including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne, Montreal Jewish Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the University of British Columbia, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Queen's University, La Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Concordia University, Brain Canada, Kids Help Phone, Sunnybrook Hospital, Université Laval Foundation, CHU Sainte-Justine and Vancouver General Hospital.
The annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund supports front-line mental health organizations in every region of the country. The Fund has provided grants of $5,000 to $50,000 to hundreds of community organizations focused on improving access to programs and services that support people living with mental health issues.
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.
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.
About VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation partners with donors to provide the funds essential to ensure our hospitals and health care teams can deliver BC's best, most specialized care for adults. We raise funds for VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services. For more information, please visit vghfoundation.ca.
SOURCE Bell Canada
For further information:
Public Affairs Officer, VCH