Bell Media Grows the Conversation About Mental Health on Bell Let's Talk Day, Feb. 12

- Bell Let's Talk Day national ambassadors include Olympian Clara Hughes, acclaimed TV personality Seamus O'Regan, and singer/songwriter Stefie Shock -
- Extensive programming with a focus on mental health to air across Bell Media properties -
- Exclusive premieres include LET'S TALK: A MARILYN DENIS SPECIAL, TSN's NEW documentary TALK TO ME, and MTV's IMPACT: LIVING WITH IT -
- #BellLetsTalk: Canadians encouraged to get talking online at,,,, and on Twitter @Bell_LetsTalk -

To tweet this release:

TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, Feb. 12, Bell Media marks Bell Let's Talk Day with a full day of non-stop programming from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., advancing the important conversation about mental health across its properties. From news and sports to business and lifestyle, all areas of the company are engaged to deliver a programming slate that elevates the important conversation about mental health, helping break the silence and stigma surrounding the illness. Anchored by the prime-time special premiere of LET'S TALK: A MARILYN DENIS SPECIAL at 7 p.m. ET on CTV, Bell Media announced today details of feature programming in support of the third annual Bell Let's Talk Day on CTV, CTV Two, CP24, BNN, CTV News Channel, MuchMusic, MTV, Discovery, E!, SPACE, TSN, RDS, and its digital, local radio, and TV properties.

Throughout the day, various Bell Media properties will feature regular updates on-screen of text, Twitter and long distance call activity, representing both the spreading conversation, and the additional funds to be dedicated to mental health by Bell.

"We're proud to play a part in keeping the conversation going about mental health," said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. "Our audiences have told us how much they appreciate this programming, so this year we've dedicated dozens of hours of new original programming and related coverage across all platforms in support of this year's Bell Let's Talk Day."

Clara Hughes, Serena Ryder, Dr. Marla Shapiro, and newly minted national ambassador for Bell Let's Talk Day, Seamus O'Regan, are just a few of the personalities on tap to support Bell Media's day of special programming. Bell Media also enlists the help of many mental health experts specializing in eating disorders, anxiety issues, and various therapies that can change and save lives. CANADA AM gets the conversation going at the top of the morning with a discussion on mental health in the workplace, BNN explains why investing in the brain can pay big dividends, DAILY PLANET takes a look at Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the use of meditation in place of medication, and TSN presents the new documentary TALK TO ME. Canada's queen of daytime Marilyn Denis dedicates her first CTV prime-time broadcast to raising awareness for mental health in the day's flagship program LET'S TALK: A MARILYN DENIS SPECIAL, featuring Canadian Olympic Champion Clara Hughes and Dr. Marla Shapiro sharing their personal connections to mental illness. The special also highlights conversations with other real people sharing their stories about living with mental illness and how to treat it. 

Additionally, local CTV television stations and Bell Media radio outlets from coast-to-coast will engage their communities in the conversation by featuring local mental health experts and shedding light on community initiatives supporting those suffering from mental illness.

** Media Note ** Download photos at

Highlights of Bell Media's extensive roster of programming in support of the third annual Bell Let's Talk Day:

Monday, Feb. 11

CANADA AM (CTV) - Beginning at 6 a.m. ET
Parenting expert Alyson Shafer visits CANADA AM on Monday, Feb. 11 to help viewers recognize difference between being overwhelmed as a parent, and something much more serious. Also on Monday, Canada's Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson joins the show to talk about what the military is doing to break down barriers and help soldiers deal with mental illness.

BNN - Beginning at 11:15 a.m. ET
At 11:15 a.m. ET, Bell Anti-stigma Chair at Queen's University, Heather Stuart, joins BNN to discuss the increasing prevalence of mental health issues in society, and what it means for the workforce. Then at 3:20 p.m. ET, Burgundy Asset Management Senior Vice-President, and director at CAMH, Rob Barbara, discusses why it's important for businesses to invest in mental health initiatives.

ETALK (CTV) - 7 p.m. ET
Canada's #1 Entertainment Show, ETALK features Bell Let's Talk Day spokesperson Clara Hughes, returning to the ETALK newsroom for a revealing and in-depth interview with anchor Ben Mulroney. Hughes chats about her role as spokesperson and shares her personal journey through mental illness. Then, from stars battling mental health issues to celebrities actively campaigning to eliminate the stigma associated with it, ETALK explores mental illness ever-present in Hollywood.

(also airs Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. ET on CTV and 8 p.m. ET on CTV Two)
TSN joins the conversation on mental health with the emotional original documentary TALK TO ME: THE STORY OF JAMES PATRICK PEEK. Gemini Award-winning TSN field producer Mike Farrell reverses roles, stepping in front of the camera and narrating the story behind the James Peek Memorial Classic - an annual golf tournament held in honour of Farrell's best friend's older brother, James, who suffered from depression and took his own life at 17 years of age. With close to $300,000 raised over 13 years of hosting the James Peek Memorial Classic, the family has funded several local mental health care programs, including a clinic named in memory of their son and brother. TALK TO ME features two young people who credit these programs with turning their lives around, including James' younger sister Michelle.

TSN presents an encore presentation of Michael Landsberg's Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS, AND ME.

Tuesday, February 12

CP24 - Beginning at 5:30 a.m. ET
The talk begins at the break of dawn on CP24 BREAKFAST, continuing all day as CP24 welcomes special guests each hour, sharing their own connections to mental health awareness. Guests include Valerie Pringle, board member of Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH); Toronto-based pop singer-songwriter Amy Sky; and Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk initiative, along with Clara Hughes and TSN personality and mental health advocate Michael Landsberg.

CANADA AM (CTV) - Beginning at 6 a.m. ET
With a live studio audience for Bell Let's Talk Day, CANADA AM gets the day going with an in-depth look at mental illness in the workplace. Olympic Medallist Clara Hughes and OFF THE RECORD host Michael Landsberg kick off the special coverage by talking about the stigma of mental illness and examining whether it's changing. CANADA AM will then be joined by four people with compelling stories of experiences dealing with mental illness at work. CANADA AM's Medical Correspondent Dr. Marla Shapiro focuses on the physical signs of mental illness and where to start the path to recovery. Experts in workplace stress from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Dr. Katy Kamkar and Carolyn Dewa, will share the steps employees and employers can take to overcome mental health disorders in the workplace. Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative Mary Deacon talks about what companies of all sizes can do to make positive changes in the workplace. These special guests will take questions from the audience and via social media between 8:30-9 a.m. ET, with a complementary live chat throughout the special at

BNN - Beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET
BNN reveals how mental health impacts business, speaking to top executives about the importance of mental health initiatives in the workplace. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET, Howard Chodos, Special Advisor, Canadian Mental Health Commission and author of Canada's national strategy on mental health, offers viewers a look at how Canada's mental health strategy puts solutions into action. Then, Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, joins BNN at 11:10 a.m. ET, sharing his perspective on mental health in the world of professional sports. Carlo Fidani, the ninth-richest Canadian and Chairman of construction firm Orlando Corporation, joins BNN at 12:20 p.m. ET to discuss why he's compelled to donate to mental health initiatives, including a $5 million donation to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Finally, Olympic champion and Bell Let's Talk Day spokesperson Clara Hughes stops by BNN to wrap up the day's coverage at 4:50 p.m. ET.

CTV NEWS CHANNEL - Beginning at 9 a.m. ET
Bell Let's Talk Day coverage features extensive coverage on-air and on-line with CTV News Channel speaking to principals involved in the Bell Let's Talk campaign and drilling down into the stigma that so many mental health patients face. CTV News Channel brings the matter out in the open by seeking input from mental health professionals, community leaders and activists involved in making things better for Canadians suffering in silence. Breaking down the numbers, the channel focuses the day's coverage on showing audiences the human face behind the issue ultimately affecting everyone.

MuchMore - All day
MuchMore features one-minute segments throughout Bell Let's Talk Day with a goal of encouraging conversation and removing the stigma associated with mental health. MuchMore focuses on the inspirational story of a young Canadian who has suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, revealing her struggle to gain acceptance from her peers and the music she connected with to help her cope and overcome.

See description above.

A full half-hour of coverage, including President of engageQ Todd Maffin's story of overcoming depression and addiction.

TSN presents an encore presentation of Michael Landsberg's Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS, AND ME.

TSN's Michael Landsberg continues his ongoing discussion on mental health with a special edition of OFF THE RECORD WITH MICHAEL LANDSBERG. Landsberg is joined by Metta World Peace, who talks about his mental health struggles, and Wes Rypien Jr., who opens up about his brother Rick Rypien, the NHLer who battled depression and took his own life in 2011.

5@7 (RDS) - 5 p.m. ET
Montreal Alouettes' player Shea Emry is featured in the hockey pre-show show, sharing his story and reinforcing the importance of opening up about mental illness.

E! News Update (E!) - Beginning at 5 p.m. ET
TSN's Michael Landsberg joins E! throughout the evening on Bell Let's Talk Day, sharing his story of dealing with depression, and encouraging viewers to donate.

New.Music.Live. (MuchMusic) - 6 p.m. ET Host Scott Willats engages in a one-hour discussion about eating disorders with a live studio audience. This special edition of NML also discusses personal stories and struggles of young adults who have experienced eating disorders, highlighting the friends that got them through this tough time. Featuring live tweets from audience members at home, NML lets viewers know they're not alone.

This special episode of INNERSPACE is devoted to mental health and how the arts can help build awareness, as well as impact the quality of life of people living with mental illness and addiction. National Bell Let's Talk Day ambassador Clara Hughes joins the team in-studio to discuss the overall importance of this subject, and how even the "super human" can be impacted. Then, Teddy Wilson visits Workman Arts, known internationally for its artistic collaborations, presentations, knowledge exchange, and research in the area of the impact of the arts on the quality of life of people living with mental illness and addiction, and much more.

Canada's queen of daytime Marilyn Denis moves to primetime with an hour-long special dedicated to raising awareness about mental health. Canadian Olympic Champion Clara Hughes shares her personal connection to mental illness, while Dr. Marla Shapiro offers professional insight. Plus, five different stories are shared with viewers as Marilyn sits down with real people who talk about living with mental illness, the steps toward diagnosis, how to live with it, and how to move forward. Each person also joins Marilyn, Clara Hughes, and Dr. Marla Shapiro to discuss the importance of sharing their messages with the world and what viewers can do to help.

DAILY PLANET (Discovery) - 7 p.m. ET
Discovery marks Bell Let's Talk Day with two new segments on its flagship series DAILY PLANET, delving into the newest science breakthroughs in mental health. First, a segment on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) examining this genetic condition affecting nearly one million Canadian adults, where a person's brain fails to tell them to "disengage" from a way of thinking when it stops makings sense. Under the guidance of Dr. Evelyn Stewart, a Harvard graduate and Director of University of British Columbia's Pediatric OCD Research Program -- a first in Canada - DAILY PLANET goes inside the brains of OCD sufferers, by way of Dr. Stewart's MRI study comparing patients and their siblings. Then, DAILY PLANET looks at how a Toronto researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has shown that meditation can be just as effective as drugs in treating people with serious depression in a segment called "Mindfulness as Good as Drugs". After intensive training where depressive patients learn new meditation techniques, taught by CAMH's Dr. Zindal Segal, they discover that they're better able to cope with depression with these new skills.

HOCKEY 360 (RDS) - 7 p.m. ET
Official Québec spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk Day, STEFIE SHOCK is live in studio to share his personal experiences with mental health issues.

This 30-minute MTV Original special delivers candid testimonials by young people living with mental illness. It illustrates what their conditions feel like, the challenges they face, and how they have learned to live with their diagnoses. These are emotional, real and inspiring stories that expose stigma and clarify misconception.

See description above.

L'ANTICHAMBRE (RDS) - Following the NHL game broadcast
The panel welcomes Dr. Sylvain Guimond, PhD, to discuss the relationship between mental health and sports. The renowned expert and practitioner in the field of sports psychology has treated more than 1,000 world-class athletes, working with professional sports teams worldwide, including the Montréal Canadians and Montréal Alouettes.

Counting down the musicians that viewers admire and look up to, Phoebe Dykstra reveals viewer votes from Much's Facebook page. Much takes a look at the 10 biggest celebrities whose music gets fans through difficult times, inspiring them to be strong, positive, and confident.

TSN presents an encore presentation of Michael Landsberg's Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS, AND ME.

Is exercise the prescription for mental health? CTV NATIONAL NEWS WITH LISA LAFLAMME looks at two provocative Canadian studies raising important questions. 

Canadians are encouraged to join the conversation about mental health online at, CTV News' special site dedicated to Bell Let's Talk Day. With news coverage and helpful links to resources including Bell Let's Talk Day's official site at, the CTV News site features a library of mental health-related stories from CTV NATIONAL NEWS and local newscasts, as well as interviews from CTV NEWS CHANNEL and CANADA AM. On Feb. 12, features blogs and guest columns from experts and personal accounts from those who've dealt with mental health issues. Beginning at 7 a.m. ET with CANADA AM, and continuing through the day, users can interact with experts via a live chat. A number of health experts, including CTV News' medical correspondent Avis Favaro, will be answering questions and discussing mental health issues live on the site.

Additionally, will focus on coverage of mental health issues in the workplace, and offers a place to engage about mental illness, and learn important resource information for those who are seeking help.

As well, will host a variety of mental health related content across its sections in support of Bell Let's Talk Day. The Showbiz "Celebs" section will feature a human interest piece with a celebrity perspective giving readers insight on what it's like to deal with mental illness on a daily basis. Resident music writer Patrick Pentland (Sloan) will touch on his personal experiences with depression and anxiety, and other musicians/artists who have lived with similar issues in the Music section. The "You Ask" area of the News section will address the question: "How common is mental illness in Canada?," informing readers of the realities facing Canadians.  Finally, in the Living section "5 reasons you shouldn't be afraid of therapy" will deliver a strong "make me better" message and offer practical advice.

And beginning at 12:30pm ET,, E! LIVE WITH LEAH dedicates the entire show to Bell Let's Talk Day. Special guests will share personal stories with mental illness to encourage a conversation, remove the stigma of mental health in the workplace and at home, and normalize mental health. will encourage a one-on-one conversation through Twitter, asking viewers to tweet their experiences, thoughts, and questions to Host Leah Miller and her guests to be read live on air.

About Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell will contribute five cents for every long distance call and text message its customers make in support of mental health programs across the country on Tuesday, Feb. 12 for Bell Let's Talk Day. Canadians can also get the discussion about mental health started through Twitter. For every re-tweet of the Bell Let's Talk Day message from @Bell_LetsTalk, Bell will donate an additional five cents.

About 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 Bell Let's Talk, please visit

About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media entertains, informs and inspires Canadians. Bell Media owns 28 conventional stations, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and owns and operates 30 specialty channels, including TSN, Canada's #1 specialty channel, and RDS, Canada's #1 French-language specialty channel. Bell Media also owns 33 radio stations, dozens of websites including the by Sympatico, and Dome Productions Inc. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit


Clara Hughes


For further information:

Patricia Garcia, Bell Media, 416.384.2645 or
Renee Dupuis, Bell Media, 416.384.3154 or

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