It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day! Let’s raise our voices together to keep Canada’s mental health moving forward

Montreal , Wednesday, January 25, 2017

  • Clara Hughes and the Bell Let’s Talk team invite you to talk, text and join the conversation on social media – now including Instagram and Snapchat
  • Help build a stigma-free Canada by raising your voice in support – and drive Bell’s donations to mental health programs at no extra cost to you
  • Watch Howie Mandel: A Bell Let’s Talk Day Special tonight at 7 pm eastern
  • Learn how to make 5 simple ways to help end the stigma part of your conversation today
  • Please visit to learn more

“Let’s get talking Canada! The reality is that mental illness affects all of us – 1 in 5 directly, and 5 in 5 of us in some way every day with the impact of the disease on our family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues,” said Clara. “But we can and we are making a difference. Start your own conversations today by talking about mental health with everyone you know, and join the millions of people in Canada and worldwide showing their support by making a call, sending a text or getting the word out on social media. Together, we all sent almost 126 million messages of support on Bell Let’s Talk Day last year – and I know we can take our fight against the stigma even further this year!”

It’s never been easier to join the conversation
Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions you make today, at no extra cost to you:

  • Every text message, mobile call and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers
  • Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk – which now includes a Bell Let’s Talk hashtag emoji
  • Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video on
  • Instagram: Every Instagram post using #BellLetsTalk
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk geofilter on Snapchat

Last year, the 125,915,295 interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day meant $6,295,764.75 in new Bell funding for Canadian mental health programs. #BellLetsTalk was the most used hashtag in the world on Bell Let's Talk Day 2016 and the #1 Twitter hashtag in Canada for all of 2016; #mentalhealth was also in the top 10, a clear indication that Canadians are talking about mental health all year long.

A full day of Bell Let’s Talk events
Major media outlets and organizations large and small will be talking about mental health today, including Bell Media. Mental health themed programming will feature across Bell Media digital, radio and TV properties, with Clara and Canadians from all walks of life leading the mental health conversation. Today’s highlights include:

Howie Mandel: A Bell Let’s Talk Day Special
Airing in simulcast at 7 pm eastern and 7 pm Pacific on CTV and CTV Two, and streamed on and the CTV GO App, Howie sits down with The Social and Your Morning’s Melissa Grelo to share his experience with mental illness. The special will also stream on CraveTV and be available on demand following its network premiere.

“Living my entire life with mental health issues makes me believe that this conversation is absolutely necessary and one that needs to be had,” said Howie. “I’m hopeful that this special will make people feel as though they are not alone in what they feel.”

Your Morning
Bell Let’s Talk Chair Mary Deacon discusses how the campaign is helping people every day and how quickly the mental health message has spread. Psychologist Dr. Nasreen Khatri talks about the signs and symptoms of anxiety – from normal levels of stress to the point where you should seek help. Starting at 6 am eastern.

The Marilyn Denis Show
Special guest Howie Mandel candidly shares his personal journey with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There’s also a discussion of care and treatment for military service people who struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and a viewer shares how the show helped her realize she was suffering with Postpartum Depression (PPD). Starting at 10 am eastern, 11 am Pacific.

The Social
Clara joins co-hosts Melissa Grelo, Marci Ien, Cynthia Loyst and Lainey Lui in the show’s fifth chair to discuss mental health. President and CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario Kimberly Moran and her daughter also sit down with the co-hosts to share their personal story and discuss the state of mental health resources for kids in Canada. Starting at 1 pm eastern and 1 pm Pacific. is featuring an original documentary called The Sound of Thunder about a First Nations softball team working to support mental health initiatives for youth in the community.

ALT (Actualité Légèrement Tordu), VRAK’s humourous current affairs program, welcomes Marie-Soleil Dion to discuss mental illness. Starting at 5 pm eastern.

Discovery’s Daily Planet
Features on phobias with Dr. Stéphane Bouchard of Université du Québec en Outaouais and the world famous Cyberpsychology lab in Gatineau, Québec, and deep brain stimulation with Dr. Sameer Sheth, Columbia Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Starting at 7 pm eastern.

Twitter Q & A with Clara and Marie-Soleil
Twitter Canada will host a Q & A with Clara and Marie-Soleil Dion beginning at 2:30 pm eastern. To ask a question or follow along, search #BellLetsTalk and #QA on Twitter.

“If someone falls and hurts themselves, people will run over to help. But mention a mental illness and far too often they’ll still turn away,” said Marie-Soleil. “I’m really looking forward to joining Clara to talk about how we can change that.”

Raptors 905 game in support of Bell Let’s Talk
Michael Landsberg and Kevin Breel will attend the Raptors 905 game at 11 am eastern at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga where over 5,000 young people will receive Bell Let’s Talk touch and text gloves.

“I know that every single time I talk about my own experience and someone listens, someone’s life is changed,” said Michael. Adds Kevin: “We all have our struggles at times, and the most important thing is to let someone know about it.

Mary Walsh in Ottawa
Mary will participate in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) panel discussion on mental health with CWO Kevin West, Col Rakesh Jetly, LCdr Lyn Kingsley, and Gilles Moreau starting at 1 pm, moderated by Canadian Armed Forces member Lt(N) Julie McDonald and CTV Ottawa News Anchor Graham Richardson. Live-streaming of the panel discussion will be on Twitter, Periscope and Facebook. Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will attend the event.

“Many people who suffer from a mental illness actually have the answers the rest of us are looking for, the wisdom and insight that we need,” said Mary Walsh. “We have to learn to listen.”

Andrew Jensen in Halifax
Andrew will be at Nova Scotia Community College to join students in a discussion about mental health. The talk will be live-streamed at 12 pm Atlantic to all 13 campuses. At 7 pm, Andrew will take part in the puck drop at the Dalhousie Varsity men’s hockey team game.

“There is no question that if you have people in your life that meaningfully show you that they care about you and your struggle, it’s a game changer,” said Andrew.

Michel Mpambara in Montréal
Michel will have lunch with children at L’Ancre des jeunes and take part in a discussion about mental health.

“Young people are more open to differences of all sorts, so it’s important to ensure they bring that natural comfort level to talking to and about people with mental health problems,” said Michel.

Robb Nash in Winnipeg
Robb will perform at the Burton Cummings Theatre for over 1,200 students in Winnipeg.

“I decided long ago that I wanted to share my story and other people's stories so that people realize that they're not alone. I want others to know that they don't have to suffer like me before they start to live,” said Robb.

Bell Let’s Talk Day at Studio Bell in Calgary
A full day at the National Music Centre, known as Studio Bell, includes a session with leading music therapist Jennifer Buchanan, the NMC President's Tour highlighting the healing and restorative power of music, a Kimball Theatre presentation called “Why does music make us feel emotions?” and a 90-minute evening concert with Séan McCann.

“I believe music is strong medicine and that a song can save your life,” said Séan. “That’s why it’s such an honour to be able to meet with young people to share my music and my truth.”

Shea Emry in Vancouver
Shea will present a Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund cheque to Westcoast Family Centres.

“However severe or minor you believe your story might be, you have the right to feel whatever it is you are feeling,” said Shea. “It’s your experience so have the confidence that the people you love will support you if you put yourself out there and ask for it.”

BC Place Stadium lights up
In partnership with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, BC Place Stadium will light up in blue tonight in support of Bell Let's Talk and mental health.

Marie-Soleil Dion and Stefie Shock in Québec City
Marie-Soleil will host and Stefie will DJ the MC Soirée FEQ – Bell Cause pour la cause.

“I’ve never been ashamed to talk about what I went through, but I know that isn’t true for everyone,” said Stefie. “You should be able to say that you have a mental health condition as easily as you say that you have diabetes. Mental illness is a problem like any other.”

University Sport games in support of Bell Let’s Talk
More than 20,000 student-athletes at 54 universities are leading the campus conversation about mental health today. More than 100 Bell Let’s Talk university sports games took place in the lead up to Bell Let’s Talk Day and 6 more are scheduled today at Acadia, Dalhousie, Ryerson, Western and the University of Prince Edward Island. Learn more about the student-athlete mental health initiative and watch their videos by visiting

“By sharing their personal stories candidly and with such passion, everyone on the Bell Let’s Talk team is working to get us talking about mental illness as openly as we would any serious health concern,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Please join in by raising your own voice in support of those who struggle and show that we’re all ready to move past the stigma that has kept mental illness in the shadows for far too long.”

5 simple ways to fight the stigma
Everyone can help end the stigma around mental illness by learning the 5 simple ways developed by Dr. Heather Stuart, whose position as the first Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair at Queen’s University was renewed yesterday:

  • Language matters – pay attention to the words you use about mental illness
  • Educate yourself – learn, know and talk more, understand the signs
  • Be kind – small acts of kindness speak a lot
  • Listen and ask – sometimes it’s best to just listen
  • Talk about it – start a dialogue, break the silence

About Bell Let’s Talk
Bell Let's Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars – anti-stigma, care and access, new research, and workplace best practices. Bell Let's Talk was launched in September 2010 as a 5-year program with a $50 million donation from Bell, and a commitment to grow its funding based on the engagement of Canadians in the cause on Bell Let's Talk Day. In September 2015, Bell announced it would extend the initiative a further 5 years and commit to at least $100 million in funding for Canadian mental health.

Bell Let's Talk has partnered with more than 700 organizations all around Canada to deliver new care initiatives in every region of the country, including through donations to major institutions; the annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund; the Bell True Patriot Love Fund for military members, veterans and their families; and a dedicated fund for Canada's 3 Territories.Bell Let's Talk is driving new research at universities and health care facilities – including the Douglas-Bell Brain Bank, the Brain Canada Research Training Fund, and the world's first anti-stigma research chair at Queen's University – and advancing the development of innovative new technologies supporting mental health.

Bell helped fund the world's first national workplace mental health and safety standard, and was one of the first to adopt it, with some 10,000 Bell managers having completed compulsory mental health training to date. Bell also partnered with Morneau Shepell and Queen's University to develop the world's first university-certified workplace mental health training program, now in use at more than 250 companies.

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis
(613) 785-1427