Friday January 29, 2021 | NATIONAL
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
The #BellLetsTalk mental health promotional fundraising campaign held yesterday online has resulted in Bell Canada pledging to spend $7,958,671.75 in what they call “new mental health funding”.
On their annual Bell Let’s Talk day to promote concern and support for mental health, on Thursday January 28 people could just take a minute to post in social media including the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. For every #BellLetsTalk in a message, Bell has committed to paying five cents, adding up to the $7,958,671.75.
From midnight Newfoundland time to midnight Pacific time there were 159,173,435 eligible Bell Let’s Talk communications, up 3.1% year over year. Social media engagement – hashtags, filters, frames and video views on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube – reached 42,688,092 interactions, with #BellLetsTalk once again the top Twitter trend in Canada and worldwide.
The new funding matches several new projects that were announced ahead of the January 28 online campaign, amounting to almost $7 million in new funding for mental health projects:
- $2.5 million to launch the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund to support Canadian colleges and universities in implementing the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students
- A $2 million donation, matched by the Government of Canada, to the Brain Canada Foundation for the Bell Let’s Talk-Brain Canada Mental Health Research Program to accelerate Canadian brain research
- $1 million in grants from the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund to 8 organizations supporting the mental health and well-being of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities in Canada
- A $500,000 donation to Jack.org to expand the reach of Jack Chapters in hundreds of communities around the country and support youth mental health
- A $420,000 donation to the QEII Foundation in Halifax to support new repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) clinics at the Nova Scotia Hospital and Valley Regional Hospital
- A $300,000 donation to CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation’s intensive ambulatory care program for teenage patients being treated for an eating disorder
With COVID-19 restrictions still in force, it was stated in a Bell release today that “Canadians found new ways to take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day activities and grow the mental health conversation”. Virtual events brought people together from every corner of the country to share their messages of support. More than 200 universities and colleges took part in this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Campus Campaign, which featured a digital toolkit to ensure post-secondary institutions could safely engage students across the country.
About the program:
Bell Let’s Talk says that it promotes mental health awareness, acceptance and action built on 4 key pillars: Fighting stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.
Results and impacts:
Bell describes their range of impact with their mental health funding as supporting over 4.4 million Canadians with access to mental health services, including through $13 million in Community Fund grants. Reportedly 2,354,193 crisis and distress line users were served, as well as 1,897,883 children and youth reached.
Applications being accepted:
The $2 million Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, which supports local mental health charities throughout Canada, is now also open for applications. Registered charities are invited to apply for a grant of up to $25,000.
The media corporate giant Bell Canada says that since 2011 their Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported almost 800 local and grassroots mental health organizations all across the country. To apply for funding, visit the Community Fund Section of the Bell Let’s Talk website.