Bell Let’s Talk Day 2017 is Wednesday, January 25 and Canada’s groundbreaking mental health initiative will offer new ways for Canadians everywhere to get engaged and drive Bell’s funding of mental health care, research, anti-stigma and workplace initiatives across Canada.
“Not only did we celebrate another record Bell Let’s Talk Day in January 2016, together we kept the conversation about mental health going all year long. It’s clear we’re making a difference, so let’s keep on talking in 2017 Canada as we work to build a nation free from the stigma around mental illness,” said Clara Hughes, Canada’s 6-time Olympic medalist and national Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson since the launch of the initiative in 2010.
“No matter whether you call, text or show your support on social media with Twitter or Facebook, and now Instagram and Snapchat, you’re making a positive difference – adding your voice to the growing national discussion while also directly activating new Bell funding for mental health programs at no cost to you. I look forward to engaging in the mental health cause in the biggest way ever with you and Canadians everywhere 5 weeks from today!”
The Bell Let’s Talk Day 2017 awareness campaign begins Boxing Day on multiple TV networks, online and out of home, and starting January 2 in Cineplex and Guzzo theatres and at Hot Docs. New advertising spots in English and French convey messages of hope while upending stereotypes by highlighting the reality that mental illness affects all of us, not just the person who is sick.
TV and online videos feature Clara and Bell Let’s Talk spokespeople Howie Mandel, Marie-Soleil Dion, Serena Ryder, Michael Landsberg, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock, Mary Walsh and Étienne Boulay speaking candidly about their own personal experiences with mental illness and recovery, and how their struggle directly affected those around them. Bell Let’s Talk ambassadors like Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock, pro golfer Andrew Jensen, comedian Kevin Breel, retired CFL player Shea Emry, musician Robb Nash and singer-songwriter Séan McCann will also work to encourage Canadians to join the conversation at events and media appearances.
The team welcomes a new Bell Let’s Talk ambassador this year: Bruno Guévremont, a Royal Canadian Navy veteran of 2 tours in Afghanistan and Team Canada captain at the 2016 Invictus Games. Bell Media is exclusive Canadian broadcast partner of Invictus Games Toronto 2017, the international sporting event established by Prince Harry for wounded active duty and veteran service members from around the world, including those struggling with mental illnesses such as PTSD.
“We thank our incredible team of Bell Let’s Talk Day spokespeople and ambassadors for sharing their lived experience and encouraging everyone to join the campaign to move Canada’s mental health forward,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “Bell Let’s Talk Day fights the pervasive stigma around mental illness by inviting everyone to get engaged, and to keep on talking about this critical national health concern every day. By joining the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day, you directly drive Bell’s funding for Canadian mental health, expanding proven frontline programs and launching innovative new approaches in care, research and workplace leadership.”
Bell Let’s Talk Day 2016 set new records for participation with 125.9 million messages of support, growing Bell’s funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75. With approximately 598,383,571 such interactions by Canadians over the last 6 Bell Let’s Talk Days, Bell’s total commitment to mental health, including an original $50-million anchor donation, has climbed to $79,919,178.55 – well on the way to Bell’s target of at least $100 million by the end of 2020.
You can use social media to get the word out with this initiative. Tweet out #BellLet’sTalk and share the Bell Let’s Talk image on Facebook on Wednesday, Jan. 25.