As the global pandemic enters its third year, initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk Day aims to help people of all backgrounds and age groups struggling with the mental health, especially amid the impact of COVID-19.
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 towards mental health initiatives in Canada. Bell has made a total funding commitment of at least $155 million for Canadian mental health.
Hundreds of Canadians died from drugs and alcohol-related causes during the pandemic than before, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. Two in three Canadians believe the current mental health of Canadians is much worse now than it was prior to the pandemic, according to polling data from last year, with half the respondents worried about access to mental health care. Meanwhile, more doctors sought medical help for burnout and substance abuse during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new study that looked at anonymous data collected through an Ontario database.
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.
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