Bell Let’s Talk Day: Kenney encourages discussions about mental health

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks after the UCP (United Conservative Party) annual meeting in Calgary on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says while the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged discussion about mental health, we need to continue working to destigmatize the topic.

"More and more, people are normalizing the topic by discussing their own mental health issues,” he said in a statement. “But there’s still a long way to go."

Kenney made the statement on Bell Let's Talk Day, saying it's the perfect opportunity to discuss mental health.

"Bell Let’s Talk Day is a great tool to break down barriers even further and show we care. It’s a reminder to continue the conversation and overcome the stigma so people get the help they need."

Now in its 12th year, Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 26 hopes to raise both awareness and money for mental health, with the goal of eliminating the stigma around mental illness, supporting organizations across Canada to help improve mental health care access, and funding research that could one day offer promising treatments.

Bell will donate five cents for every call or text message by a Bell customer, #BellLetsTalk hashtag used on Twitter and TikTok, or view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last year, more than 159.17 million messages and interactions were made, with Bell donating roughly $7.96 million toward mental health initiatives in Canada. Bell has made a total funding commit.

Since launching in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,300 organizations that provide mental health support and services throughout Canada. They include hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations. The program has had more than 1.3 billion interactions over the last decade-plus, raised more than $121.37 million, and made 888 community fund grants.

The community fund provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to projects that help improve access to mental health care support and services, while a diversity fund has committed $5 million to specifically support mental health for members of the Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities.

Bell Let’s Talk also offers a guide with tips on how you can help, including recognizing signs of stress, taking care of others, and how to end the stigma around mental illness.

CTV News is a part of Bell Media, whose parent company is BCE Inc. 

- With files from staff