Bell today marked the fifth anniversary of Bell Let’s Talk by announcing the extension of the national mental health initiative for a further 5 years and an increase in Bell’s total funding commitment for Canadian mental health to at least $100 million.“Canadians have fully embraced the mental health cause, reaching out to those who struggle, making their own voices and stories heard, fighting the stigma around mental illness while also driving Bell Let’s Talk action in anti-stigma, care, research and workplace programs by getting engaged,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “Most Canadians, especially young people, say they’ve seen a significant, positive change in awareness and attitudes around mental health in the last 5 years. But as we celebrate our collective progress, it’s also clear to all that much work remains. We have momentum in mental health, so let’s keep the conversation going. On behalf of everyone involved in Bell Let’s Talk, I am proud to announce a 5-year extension of the initiative and an increase in Bell’s funding commitment to $100 million or more, based on the continued engagement of Canadians in Bell Let’s Talk Day.”
Announced on September 21, 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about mental illness, a pressing national health concern beset by a unique stigma and far underfunded and underserved relative to its impact on every Canadian. Mental illness remains the #1 cause of workplace disability and costs the national economy more than $50 billion each year. 1 in 5 Canadians will struggle with a mental illness at some point in their lives, but as few as 1 in 3 seek the help they need, largely because of the lingering stigma.