It was another Bell Let’s Talk Day for the record books as people throughout Canada and beyond talked, texted and engaged across social media in the mental health conversation –145,442,699 messages of support that increased total Bell Let’s Talk Day interactions since our first annual event in 2011 to 1,013,915,275.
With Bell donating 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each interaction, funding grew by another $7,272,134.95. Total Bell Let’s Talk funding now stands at $100,695,763.75, which includes Bell’s original $50 million donation to launch the initiative.
“What a remarkable day for mental health! Thank you everyone for embracing those who struggle with mental illness, for helping to change attitudes and fight the stigma, and for helping drive Bell’s donations to mental health by making your voice heard,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Not only did we achieve significant new milestones in participation and Bell funding, Canada’s leadership in growing the mental health conversation is clearly capturing the attention of the world.”
Between midnight in Newfoundland and Labrador and midnight in British Columbia, there were 145,442,699 eligible Bell Let’s Talk interactions, an increase of more than 5% over last year. Eligible interactions include Bell mobile calls, long-distance calls and texts, as well as tweets, retweets, filters, frames and video views on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, all at no charge to participants beyond what they would normally pay their provider for phone or online access.
Social media leads the way
Social media engagement on Bell Let’s Talk Day was up significantly to 27,477,153 interactions, an increase of 13% over 2018. Viewings of the official Bell Let’s Talk video on social media were also up approximately 50% compared to Bell Let’s Talk Day last year.
This year’s English-language video featured Alessia Cara, Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, Lisa LaFlamme and Seth Rogen with Bell Let’s Talk team members Mike Babcock, Manon Charbonneau, Denni Clement, David K. Henry, Chris Johnson, Queena Lau, Howie Mandel and Souad Saidj. The French-language video featured Adib Alkhalidey, Luc Bellemare, Sophie Cadieux, Guy Carbonneau, Véronique Cloutier, Gilbert Delorme, Jonathan Drouin, François Gagnon, Julien Lacroix, Marie-Mai, Herby Moreau and Alexandre Taillefer with the Bell Let’s Talk team of Étienne Boulay, Marie-Soleil Dion, Patricia Lemoine, Michel Mpambara and Stefie Shock.
Prominent influencers grow the conversation
Helping drive engagement were tweets from prominent leaders including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General Julie Payette, and the Royal Family with a tweet from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Will and Kate and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Harry and Meghan.
They were joined by political leaders from every party – federal, provincial and territorial – mayors and councillors, sports teams, associations and athletes, government departments, the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, major Canadian corporations, healthcare leaders, unions, students and educators, and entertainers and celebrities from around the world. Please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to see highlights.
“As a Friend of Bell Let’s Talk, I am so happy to be part of the campaign and see first hand the support and engagement of so many people in moving the mental health conversation forward,” said Daniel Limoges, who delivers mental health training at Université de Sherbrooke and shared his story of depression and anxiety in this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign. “From my own experience, I know how important it is to talk about the reality of mental illness so that others will have the courage to get the help and support they need. On behalf of all the Friends of Bell Let’s Talk, I encourage everyone to keep talking – because I can tell you, it helps.”
The 2019 Bell Let’s Talk team
Bell Let’s Talk spokespeople, ambassadors and Friends joined Canadians across the country yesterday, increasing awareness and support for Canadian mental health by hosting events, visiting students and young people, performing concerts and talking to media.
We offer heartfelt thanks to Bell Let’s Talk spokespeople Michael Landsberg, Howie Mandel, Mary Walsh, Stefie Shock, Michel Mpambara, Marie-Soleil Dion and Étienne Boulay, and community ambassadors pro golfer Andrew Jensen, comedian Kevin Breel, CFL veteran Shea Emry, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, singer-songwriter Séan McCann, veteran Bruno Guévremont, actress Jessica Holmes, musician Florence K and actress Veronique Bannon, for sharing their personal stories and encouraging all Canadians to get engaged and talk about mental health.
New funding projects announced for Bell Let’s Talk Day
In the lead up to Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019 we announced funding for several new mental health projects:
- A joint $1 million donation with the Manitoba Government to expand mental health services for children, youth and families in Manitoba through Strongest Families Institute, a Bell Let’s Talk partner that also serves the Atlantic provinces
- A $500,000 donation to the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Practices (CRISE) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) to support suicide prevention research
- A $500,000 partnership with the Ottawa Senators Foundation and the Danbe Foundation for the creation of the Youth Services Hub at Youth Services Bureau for homeless youth in Ottawa
- A $300,000 donation to CHEO to support the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) program to help reduce wait times and improve access to mental health care
- A $300,000 donation to 3 Montréal organizations delivering mental health services to homeless people through the Programme de réaffiliation en itinérance et santé mentale (PRISM)
- A $200,000 partnership with the City of Winnipeg to support Bear Clan Patrol to expand mental health outreach to vulnerable people in Winnipeg
The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund
The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, which supports local mental health programs throughout Canada, is open for applications. Registered charities are invited to apply for a grant up to $25,000. Since 2011, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported more than 500 local and grassroots mental health organizations in every region of the country.
The 2019 application period is open until March 15 and all 2019 Community Fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2019. To apply for funding, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
In 2015, Bell announced it would extend the Bell Let’s Talk initiative a further 5 years and commit to at least $100 million in funding for Canadian mental health. With a new grand total of $100,695,763.75 following Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019, we’ve already surpassed our objective!
To learn more about Bell Let’s Talk, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.