- $2 million in grants available to registered charities leading mental health care initiatives in their local communities
- Annual fund has supported more than 500 community organizations since 2011
MONTRÉAL – Bell has announced the launch of the annual Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for 2019, with $2 million in grants available this year for local mental health leaders improving access to care in communities throughout Canada.
“Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported local mental health initiatives in every corner of the country, from the largest urban centres to some of Canada’s most remote communities,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Alongside the major health care and research institutions supported by Bell Let’s Talk, these local and grassroots initiatives are helping to improve the lives of people living with mental illness within hundreds of Canadian communities.”
“I have been privileged to see the evolution of mental health care in my two and a half decades as a frontline social worker,” said the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. “Thanks to the work of incredible initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk, and the work of organizations providing services and support in communities, conversations that once happened in hushed voices are now front and centre. But we know there is still work to do, and that’s why I will be joining the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day and encourage all Canadians to do so.”
How to apply for a Community Fund grant
Registered charities are invited to apply for a grant up to $25,000 to help fund local mental health programs by visiting Bell.ca/LetsTalk. All applications are reviewed by a committee of mental health experts from across Canada. The 2019 application period runs until March 15 and all 2019 grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2019.
“Funding from Bell Let’s Talk allowed the Hamlet of Arviat to train youth workers at the Youth Drop-In Centre in peer support skills, coping skills and anti-bullying,” said Michelle Malla, Director of Community Development for Arviat. “This has greatly increased the effectiveness of our staff in supporting youth in our Nunavut community.”
“With our grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, the Man to Man: Mental Health Peer Support group launched at Choices for Youth in the fall of 2017,” said Sheldon Pollett, Executive Director of Choices for Youth. “This is the first group of its kind in St. John’s and we are proud to partner with Bell Let’s Talk to offer this program to male identifying youth who want to improve their mental wellness and emotional capacity.”
“We trained KV Oasis Youth Centre staff as ASIST Suicide Intervention facilitators and other staff members as Mental Health First Aid facilitators with our gift from the Community Fund,” said Yennah Hurley, Executive Director of the KV Oasis Youth Centre in New Brunswick. “The facilitators will train local youth, parents, teachers and first responders in these important programs as well as the KV Oasis Peer Support Workers.”
“Bell Let’s Talk helped us optimize our work reintegration program at our Le Chiffonnier thrift shop, helping 100 people with mental health challenges return to work each year,” said Karine Ouellet, Director of Services at the Maison de l’Espoir de Mont-Joli. “In addition to improving the experience of people living with mental health issues or social integration difficulties, the thrift shop also operates a region-wide textile recycling system, which has a positive economic impact in our community.”
“We trained 28 Youth Reconciliation Initiative leaders in Mental Health First Aid and Safe Talk thanks to the support of Bell Let’s Talk,” said Max FineDay, Executive Director of the Canadian Roots Exchange. “Youth Leaders are equipped to address issues such as the intergenerational impacts of residential schools on mental health and well-being, high suicide rates in Indigenous communities and how to access community mental health services. Training these leaders meant that more than 400 Indigenous youth were able to participate in mental health workshops in Thunder Bay, Sudbury-Manitoulin, the Six Nations communities, Hamilton and Ottawa.”
“Thanks to the support of Bell Let’s Talk and working with Healthy Child Manitoba, True North’s Project 11 is improving mental wellness through weekly lessons, videos and daily activities for more than 15,000 youth in Winnipeg and across Manitoba,” said Julie Chartier, Director Finance and Support Services for True North Youth Foundation. “Almost 3,000 students and teachers from both rural and urban school divisions were also provided with mindfulness strategies to learn positive coping skills and a greater sense of self-awareness at the True North Summit.”
“Financial support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund helped us deliver the Take Back Your World initiative, a 10-week therapy group for teen girls who have experienced abuse and present with a mental health issue,” said Sandra Mintz, CEO of Lethbridge Family Services. “We are proud to partner with Bell to increase access to mental health care and support through programs like this.”
“Our Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant helped us expand the FamilySmart Parent in Residence/Youth in Residence program, connecting young people and their families with the mental health services available in their community,” said Keli Anderson, President and CEO of the Institute of Families for Child and Youth Mental Health. “We reached over 400 additional children, youth, families and service providers as a result of this grant, changing outcomes for child and youth mental health in BC.”
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 30
Everyone is invited to join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day by sending messages of support across multiple platforms to drive both awareness and action in mental health.
Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of the following interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day, at no extra cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access:
- Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
- Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
- Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
- Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
- Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/Bell_letstalk
- Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
Total Bell Let’s Talk Day interactions since the first event in 2011 stand at 867,449,649 and are expected to exceed 1 billion on January 30. Bell’s funding commitment for mental health, including the company’s donations based on Bell Let’s Talk engagement and its original $50-million donation to launch the initiative, is now $93,423,628.80 and expected to surpass $100 million on January 30.
About Bell Let’s Talk
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 900 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including major donations to hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.