$250,000 going to mental health initiatives for military families and veterans
TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Bell True Patriot Love Fund announced its 2014 grant recipients today at the annual True Patriot Love Tribute Dinner in Toronto. Sixteen organizations providing mental health supports to military families, serving members and veterans in military communities across Canada are receiving grants totaling $250,000 from the Fund.
"Bell Let's Talk is very proud to support the mental health and well-being of Canadian Armed Forces members through the Bell True Patriot Love Fund," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "These grants will help provide serving men and women, veterans, and their families across the country with much-needed access to targeted mental health programs close to home."
During the event, Bell Let's Talk and the True Patriot Love Foundation presented a cheque for $25,000 to Captain-retired Medric Cousineau, founder of 2014 grant recipient Paws Fur Thought. Since 2013, Paws Fur Thought has provided funding for the training of service dogs to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Paws Fur Thought has worked closely with Veterans Affairs and the Canadian Armed Forces, funding 30 dogs to be trained and then paired with veterans across the country to date.
"The powerful impact of service dogs for veterans battling PTSD will continue to expand thanks to the support of Bell Let's Talk and True Patriot Love," said Medric Cousineau, SC, CD, a Captain retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force. "We have already started to see positive changes in the lives of veterans and their families who have the support of a service dog."
Launched in 2013, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund will distribute $1 million in grants of $5,000 to $25,000 over 4 years to help fund programs delivering mental health support to military families who need the resources in their communities. In the first 2 years, the Fund has distributed grants to 32 organizations across the country.
"Our partnership with Bell Let's Talk allows us to not only reach out and support military families and veterans across Canada," said Michael Burns, Vice-Chair and Co-Founder of True Patriot Love Foundation, "it gives us the opportunity to help end the stigma around mental health issues that impact Canadians in and out of uniform."
"The more we walk the talk about mental health, the more we learn, understand, and share," believes Lieutenant-General David Millar, Chief of Military Personnel. "Bell Let's Talk and True Patriot Love have opened our eyes, our minds, and our hearts. As a result, our Military Family Resource Centres are able to make the difference in the lives of our military families. Let's keep talking, listening, and helping one another."
Bell True Patriot Love Fund 2014 grant recipients:
- Centre de la Famille Valcartier – Mental Health Therapeutic Support Groups (QC)
- Central Saskatchewan MFRC – Mental Health First Aid Certificate Program (SK)
- Esquimalt MFRC – Smooth Transition to Civilian Life (BC)
- Greenwood MFRC – 2015 Summer Family Camp Weekend (NS)
- Halifax and Region MFRC – Tending the Garden: Resiliency Training (NS)
- Hope Reins Programs – War Horse Project (Equine therapy) (ON)
- London MFRC – Relationship Tools for Military Couples: Workshop (ON)
- Mainland BC MFRC – Family Communications Course (BC)
- North Bay MFRC – OSISS Family Peer Retreat (ON)
- Paws Fur Thought – Service Dogs for Veterans (National)
- Phoenix Centre – Petawawa Mental Health Walk-In Clinic (ON)
- Shilo MFRC – OSISS Family Retreat (MB)
- The Prince's Charities Canada – Prince's Operation Entrepreneur (National)
- Toronto MFRC – Training for Couples Therapy (ON)
- Veterans Transition Network – Programs in Quebec (QC)
- Winnipeg MFRC – Women's Conference (MB)
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 the annual 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.
About True Patriot Love
True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL) is a national charity that honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families in both times of peace and conflict. TPL funds unique programs and innovative research in the areas of mental health, physical rehabilitation, family support and veteran transition. TPL is also committed to changing the conversation about our nation's veterans, hosting an annual multinational symposium and organizing ambitious global expeditions. Since 2009, True Patriot Love has raised more than $18 million to support military charities across Canada. For more information, please visit www.truepatriotlove.com.
Manager of Special Projects, True Patriot Love
Bell Media Relations
SOURCE: Bell Canada