Student-athletes, university sport conferences and Bell Let's Talk team up

Montreal , Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Student-athletes, university sport conferences and Bell Let's Talk team up to grow the mental health conversation on Canadian campuses nationwide.

  • 20,000 student-athletes, the Atlantic, Québec, Ontario and Canada West university sport conferences, and 53 Canadian universities join forces for Bell Let's Talk Day, January 25
  • 6 Academic All-Canadian student-athletes feature in Bell Let’s Talk video series talking about mental illness and how to fight the stigma
  • 100 university sports games across Canada to host Bell Let's Talk events

Bell Let’s Talk, Canadian universities and Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) today announced a national student initiative to promote mental health on campuses across Canada.

On Bell Let's Talk Day this January 25, more than 20,000 student-athletes will help lead the campus conversation about mental health, joining with fellow students and others in the university community to discuss the impact of mental illness and how to fight the stigma that keeps too many from seeking help. Student-athletes are also hosting events at 100 university games leading up to January 25, and appearing in a new Bell Let’s Talk video series.

“I’m ecstatic that student-athletes at campuses everywhere are coming together in such a huge way to drive the mental health conversation, sharing their stories and inviting their fellow students to join in making a difference,” said Clara Hughes, Canada’s 6-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let’s Talk national spokesperson. “Athletes are deeply involved in campus life and passionate about their school communities, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to them all for bringing their incredible energy and ideas to the mental health cause.”

“On behalf of the university sport conferences across Canada – the RSEQ, OUA, CWUAA and the AUS – we congratulate our student-athletes for leading the way,” said Phil Currie, Executive Director of Atlantic University Sport. “They’ll be spreading the mental health message at campuses across Canada, sparking conversations with fellow students and offering their own perspectives on how we can all make a positive change.”

“The Bell Let’s Talk partnership with Canadian universities has grown from 11 schools in Atlantic Canada in 2016 to 53 right across the country this year, from 2,200 student-athletes to more than 20,000,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Conversations will be taking place in classrooms, residences and sport facilities on campuses across the country, helping combat the stigma and supporting those who struggle. We look forward to the continued growth of this great initiative in the years to come.”

Leading up to January 25, 100 university sports games across the country will host Bell Let’s Talk events. Fans will receive thunder sticks and temporary tattoos and have the opportunity to sign talk bubbles and banners in support of mental health. Fans are also encouraged to take

RSEQ: Bishop’s University, Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université du Québec à Montréal.

OUA: Algoma University, Brock University, Carelton University, University of Guelph, Lakehead University, Laurentian University, Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster University, Nipissing University, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, Royal Military College, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Trent University, UOIT, University of Waterloo, Western University, University of Windsor and York University.

CWUAA: University of Alberta, Brandon University, University of British Columbia, UBC Okanagan, University of Calgary, University of Fraser Valley, University of Lethbridge, MacEwan University, University of Manitoba, Mont Royal University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Thompson River University, Trinity Western University, University of Victoria and University of Winnipeg.

Bell Let’s Talk Day
On January 25, Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions at no extra charge to participants:

  • Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
  • Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video at
  • Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat geofilter

Bell Let's Talk Day 2016 set new records with 125.9 million messages of support, growing Bell's funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75. #BellLetsTalk was the #1 Twitter hashtag in Canada for all of 2016, and the most used in the world on Bell Let's Talk Day 2016.

With its original anchor donation of $50 million and the results of the first 6 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell's total commitment to mental health now stands at $79,919,178.55, and is expected to surpass $100 million in 2020. To learn more, please visit

Atlantic University Sport
Atlantic University Sport is responsible for governing interuniversity sport in Atlantic Canada. The conference is comprised of 11 member institutions and over 2,000 student-athletes who compete annually for 18 conference championships in 10 different sports, including basketball, cross country, football, hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming, track & field, volleyball & curling. It is the mission of Atlantic University Sport to enhance the educational experience of students in university through sport programs offered by member institutions working in partnership. To learn more, please visit

Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec The RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec) works to promote and develop sports and physical activity among students, from beginners to high-level sports. It therefore promotes academic success through sport. To learn more, please visit

Ontario University Athletics
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and its 20 member institutions are developing Champions For Life. Giving 9,000 student-athletes the opportunity to excel academically and on the playing field, while preparing for life after university. To learn more, please visit

Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders. To learn more, please visit

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone, small business and enterprise communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital and out of home media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). To learn more, please visit

Media contacts:

Katie Burgess, Bell

Jess Burns, AUS

Andrée-Anne Dionne-Émond, RSEQ
(514) 252-3300 ext: 3616

Matt Walker, OUA
(905) 635-5510 x 207

Evan Daum, Canada West
(780) 266-4432