- 128 Canadian universities and colleges in every province joining Bell Let's Talk Day activities
- Student-athlete campaign builds momentum with addition of Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association
MONTRÉAL, Que. - Bell Let's Talk today announced the expansion of its national university mental health campaign to 128 campuses nationwide, representing a student population of more than a million.
Moving into the broader campus community, the campaign builds on the success of 2017's university initiative when more than 20,000 student-athletes from 53 universities led the campus mental health conversation at more than 100 university sports events leading up to Bell Let's Talk Day.
"The student-athlete initiative clearly showed that mental health is a priority for students on Canadian campuses. This year, we're building on that momentum as we expand the conversation to 128 universities and colleges throughout the country," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "On January 31, we encourage all students around the country to join in, share their own stories and help fight the stigma around mental illness."
"The members of CACUSS are committed to open dialogue about mental health initiatives for our students, faculty and staff," said Jennifer Hamilton, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS). "We recognize the importance of reducing stigma and promoting healthy campuses and communities. Bell Let's Talk is a great vehicle for expanding and encouraging conversations about our mental health on campus."
As a national day to spark the conversation about mental health, Bell Let's Talk Day can help student services departments showcase various mental health programs already offered on campus, while also helping schools achieve their own mental health goals. More than 150 on-campus conferences and other events are planned already, including participation by student-athletes who are helping spread the conversation again this year at more than 100 varsity and collegiate games leading up to Bell Let's Talk Day.
"Educational settings provide key opportunities for discussing mental illnesses and their challenges," said Claire Benoit, General Manager, Student Services of the Université de Montréal and Chair of the Regroupement des directions universitaires des Services aux étudiants du Québec. "This is why university institutions must assume a leadership role in raising everyone's awareness about this cause. It is essential to talk about mental health. We must be present, attentive and break the silence. By working together, and with support from Bell Let's Talk, we help improve every student's chances of success."
"University students face a myriad of pressures and challenges in this transitional period of life. Dalhousie is committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of its students, and we want to ensure the door to dialogue is always wide open, dispelling stigma with vivacity," said Christina Elgee, Manager of Student Wellness Outreach & Nursing Services at Dalhousie University. "We have ramped up our mental health services, and thanks to support from Bell Let's Talk we will continue the conversation throughout the year. We cannot allow anyone to suffer in silence. You are not alone."
"Being able to spread awareness about mental health is something that the OUA is proud to support," said Gord Grace, CEO of Ontario University Athletics. "Mental health is a topic that needs to be discussed, and being able to have our student-athletes, coaches, and leadership go beyond the playing field to help bring this conversation to the forefront is a powerful step that we are hopeful can spark positive change in our schools and wider communities."
"Our focus on enriching the overall academic experience of our student-athletes is core to the support we offer across campuses," said Joel Mrak, Vice President, Marketing at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. "The mental health leadership through the Bell Let's Talk initiative will continue to have a tremendous impact for these students, and we're proud to be a part of the growing conversation."
"Here at the University of Manitoba, we believe that mental health is such an integral part of thriving in all areas of our lives and in all the different roles we play," said Arlana Vadnais, Campus Mental Health Facilitator at the University of Manitoba. "Our goal is to do all we can to help our students and staff to thrive. Bell Let's Talk provides a relevant, vibrant platform for our University to both show our support for each other in our campus community and join the national conversation."
Bell Let's Talk Day is January 31
We invite everyone to join the mental health conversation on Bell Let's Talk Day. Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions on January 31, at no extra cost to participants:
- Text and talk: Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers
- Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Bell Let's Talk Day video view
- Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and use of the Bell Let's Talk frame
- Instagram: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video view
- Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk filter and video view
Bell Let's Talk Day 2017 set all new records with 131,705,010 messages, growing Bell's funding for Canadian mental health by $6,585,250.50. #BellLetsTalk was Canada's top hashtag in 2017, and is now the most used Twitter hashtag ever in Canada.
With approximately 729,065,654 interactions by Canadians over the last 7 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell's total commitment to mental health, including an original $50-millionanchor donation in 2010, has risen to $86,504,429.05. Bell expects its donation commitment to reach at least $100 million in 2020.
To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk
Participating universities and colleges:
Mount Saint Vincent University
Source: Bell Canada