Bell Let’s Talk Day: Inside Mental Health Initiatives

In recent years, Bell Let’s Talk has taken off in popularity and wide interest in the online atmosphere. For those that don’t know what Bell Let’s Talk is, it is a mission started by Bell Media to spread awareness about mental illness through using texts, calls, hashtags in posts, tweets, and viewing videos. Everytime that happens on the day, Bell donates 5¢ to mental health initiatives. This year Bell Let’s Talk Day will be January 30th, 2019. Some disagree with the initiative, and think it’s a publicity stunt for the company. I personally was on the fence about this in past years, so I thought I would find out for myself and for others on where exactly that 5¢ goes when participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day.

 

Initiatives

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about Canada’s mental health and took action to their initiatives for change. Many people at this time weren’t talking about mental illness. But the numbers requiring urgent needs and actions spoke quite loudly for the company. Millions of Canadians engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year. As a result, institutions and organizations large and small in every region received new funding for access, care and research from Bell Let’s Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause. Bell's total donation to mental health programs now stands at $93,423,628.80, and they are well on their way to donating at least $100 million.

 

 

 

4 Pillars

Bell is dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada. Bell Let’s Talk promotes awareness and action with a strategy built on 4 key pillars: Fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.

 

Text

For every text message sent by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers, Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives.

 

Call

For every mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.

 

Twitter

Each time you watch the company’s Bell Let’s Talk Day video or tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives.

 

Instagram

Each time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives.

 

Facebook

Each time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk Day video or use the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame, Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives.

 

SnapChat

Each time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk Day video or send a snap using the Bell Let’s Talk filter, Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives.

 

 

 

 

The Impact

Bell says that the 2019 community fund will provide grants in the range of $5,000 to $25,000 to projects that improve access to mental health care, supports and services for people in Canada. Click here for more information on how to get eligibility for grants.

 

According to Bell, the impact since 2o11 has been +$9 million in community fund grants, 534 specific community fund grants, $3.53 million in grants to children & youth, $938K in grants to Indigenous communities and $1.6 million in grants Military family support. That’s not all though.  $93.4 million overall has been donate to mental health initiatives. There's been 2,235,043 crisis and distress line callers, 5,588,596 children & youth reached through Bell Let’s Talk programs, 459,232 individuals supported through technology-based mental health programs, 1,451,270 trained staff and volunteers and 8,410 military families helped through the Bell True Patriot Fund. Overall, 87% of Canadians reported that they are more aware of mental health issues since Bell Let’s Talk began!

 

 

 

 

Where the Funds Go

Bell is very serious about mental health initiatives. On the Bell Let’s Talk site, there is a full list of every organization they donate to, categorized from year, regions in Canada and the types of gifts they were granted! They support tons of big and small organizations across Canada.

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Participate

I think Bell has made it super easy to participate in Bell Let’s Talk day. All of us likely check our social media several times a day, and are definitely posting something on some kind of platform if not daily, then at least a few times a week or so. Making a post is going to benefit someone and maybe even save a life. 5¢ may seem small but it really adds up when everyone participates. You never know when you might need access to mental health resources or help from professionals. These organizations need that money to help people, whether it’s you, your friends, your family, your coworkers, your service providers, or the stranger you sit beside in class.  

 

 

After looking further into the Bell Let’s Talk initiatives, it’s clear that the day is definitely more than just something for publicity for the company. This is something very unique for a company to do and I do applaud Bell Media to sticking to this commitment of donating at least $100 million since starting. I always felt conflicted about whether I should participate in this day because I knew mental health awareness should be happening everyday, not just one, but this year I definitely will be participating in every way possible on January 30th, 2019! I encourage you to do the same, and tell your friends and family to do the same as well! As students, we can struggle to maintain a positive mental health, and it’s important to know that all of us feel it at times, and that we are not alone. Bell truly has the right idea with it.

To view this years Bell Let’s Talk Campaign videos click here!