Talking is one of the first steps to breaking down the barriers associated with mental illness. So, let’s make an impact. Let’s get talking.

On Wednesday, January 31st, Canadians can support mental health initiatives and educate others in a worthy cause by participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day.

Bell Let’s Talk is dedicated to erasing the stigma associated with mental illness and provide funding for access, care, and research by getting people talking.

Anyone can join in from any place through their mobile phone, and every contribution will make a difference. Whether you’re texting, talking or sharing on social media, Bell will donate five cents for each eligible action (full details below).

The Impact of Bell Let’s Talk Day

Six-time Olympic medallist Clara Hughes has been a national spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk Day since the initiative began, sharing her struggles with depression. In 2014, Hughes cycled across Canada with Clara’s Big Ride, an inspiring and emotional journey over 11,000 kilometres through every Canadian province and territory to share stories and create awareness for mental illness.

Bell Canada is one of the main contributors to Clara’s Big Ride. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Canadians helped raise $5.4 million by talking about mental health via social media and text messaging.

By sharing her story, Hughes has shown that anyone, including Olympic athletes can be a subject to mental illness. In fact, one in five Canadians – regardless of age, gender, or social standing – is personally affected by mental illness at some point in their life. But the stigma associated with it is the number one reason why two-thirds of those suffering do not seek help.

With your help, Bell Let’s Talk Day is changing that.

Over the last seven years, more than 700,000 individuals have been supported with access to mental health care thanks to $86.5 million dollars donated from Bell Let’s Talk. The goal this year for Bell Let’s Talk Day is to break last year’s record, which saw 131,705,010 interactions for a total of $6,585,250.50 donated.

How to get involved and end the stigma of mental illness

For each of the following actions, Bell will donate five cents to its Community Fund, which funnels the money to mental health initiatives across the country:

  • Every text message and mobile or long-distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers
  • Every Tweet or Instagram post using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk
  • Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter on Snapchat
  • Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Facebook

Five ways in which you can continue to help end the stigma are to educate yourself about the facts and myths of mental illness, understand that language matters and words can hurt as much as help, be kind and listen to someone who is struggling. And of course, talk about it.

Keep the conversation going, because no one should suffer in silence.

Bell has been a Premier National Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team since 1999.