Tuesday January 28th is the fourth annual “Bell Let’s Talk Day”. This national promotion is one of the pillars of the Bell Mental Health Initiative, which was launched in 2010 with a $50 million commitment by Bell to reduce the stigma of mental illness in this country.
“Let’s Talk” is designed to engage all Canadians in the dialogue around mental health. Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives across Canada for every:
Text message sent*
Long distance call made*
Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image
* By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer
Here is a brief and compelling video promoting Let’s Talk 2014. It speaks volumes in just 30 seconds.
As you may know, Queen’s has a strong connection to the Bell Mental Health Initiative. Dr. Heather Stuart, a professor in Community Health and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair (the world’s first academic chair specifically dedicated to addressing mental illness stigma).
On January 17th we announced a progressive new training program designed to improve how mental illness is addressed in the workplace. Developed by Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Morneau Shepell, Canada’s largest human resources consulting firm, the program enables learners to acquire additional skills, strategies and resources to address mental health issues in their working teams. Upon completion, program participants will receive a certificate from Queen’s. It will first be delivered to nearly 5,000 front-line managers at Bell Canada. I understand that the announcement has garnered more interest in the program from a number of organizations.
One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lives: it is an issue that affects us all. Tomorrow, let’s see if we can ‘five in five’ Canadian’s “talking” about mental illness and the attached stigma. Text, tweet, like, to support Bell Let’s Talk Day and as a show of support for Canadians who are living with mental illness.
If you have any stories about mental health stigma, respond to the blog…or better yet, please drop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.