Clara and the Bell Let’s Talk team visit community groups

Kingston , Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Supported by several Bell Let’s Talk spokespeople and ambassadors, national Bell’s Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes and Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let's Talk, have spent the past week visiting communities across Canada to help bring attention to a range of initiatives that are improving mental health for many Canadians.

“Bell Let’s Talk Day is a great opportunity for Canadians to voice their support for those who struggle with mental health, and every year that special day becomes even more impactful as more and more join the conversation and help end the stigma surrounding mental illness,” said Clara Hughes. “This year we’re expanding the conversation even more by giving an extra shout out to many of the people and organizations that are making a difference on the frontlines each and every day.”

During the lead up to Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 25, Clara, Mary Deacon and other Bell Let’s Talk team members visited the following communities:

  • Fort McMurray, AB – January 16

Clara, Mary Deacon and singer-songwriter Séan McCann visited École McTavish Junior High School for a special assembly and to announce Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund support for Fort McMurray Public School District #2833 and UNITY Charity.

  • Iqaluit, NU – January 18

Clara, Mary Deacon and Paul Flaherty, President and CEO of Northwestel, were at Inuksuk High School to announce funding for safeTALK, a suicide prevention initiative. While in Iqaluit, Clara also met with volunteers at the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line, the first recipient from Bell Let’s Talk’s $1 million fund for mental health in the territories.

  • Ste-Anne-de-Bellvue, QC – January 19

Clara and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Michel Mpambara travelled to Montréal’s Ste. Anne’s Hospital, a long-term health care facility that provides services for Canadian Armed Forces veterans. They saw firsthand the important work the hospital’s mental health programs and many volunteers are providing for Canada’s military members and families impacted by operational stress injuries and took part in a special yoga event with veterans. Ste. Anne's Hospital Foundation received funding from the Bell True Patriot Love Fund.

  • Halifax, NS – January 20

Clara, Mary Deacon and Bell Let’s Talk ambassador Andrew Jensen joined clients and volunteers at Laing House, a drop-in centre for youth aged 16 to 29, and engaged with clients of the facility’s pioneering mental health peer support program. Laing House has received support from Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund and Bell Aliant.

  • Ottawa, ON – January 23

Clara, Mary Deacon, her Excellency Sharon Johnston and entertainer Mary Walsh visited the award-winning Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, where they met with staff and volunteers highlighting the centre’s mental health programs supporting Indigenous youth. Clara and Mary Deacon also took part in a funding announcement where Bell Let’s Talk and St. John Ambulance announced a $150,000 donation towards the integration of Mental Health First Aid into St. John Ambulance’s training programs.

  • Kingston, ON – January 24

Today Clara and Mary Deacon joined Dr. Heather Stuart, Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen’s University, at Biosciences Complexe Atrium to highlight progress made since the Chair was established 5 years ago and announce further funding of $1 million to continue the important work that Dr. Stuart is doing in stigma reduction.