Bell Let's Talk Chair Mary Deacon named to the Order of Canada

Montréal, Friday, December 27, 2019

Bell congratulates Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk, on being named to the Order of Canada, the country's highest honour for those who have made extraordinary contributions to Canada.

Announced today by Governor General Julie Payette, the appointment recognizes Ms. Deacon's decades-long commitment to improving the lives of Canadians living with mental illness, including her leadership of the ground-breaking Bell Let's Talk initiative from its inception in 2010.

"Congratulations Mary on this recognition of your dedication to changing the way we all think about mental illness, and for driving the awareness and action that have made such a positive difference for so many," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. "Your guidance of Bell Let's Talk from its very beginning has been a critical factor in building the initiative from an idea into a national mental health movement."

"Our team is proud that Mary has received such a prestigious honour for her leadership in Canadian mental health. I'm looking forward to working with her as we continue to grow the reach of Bell Let's Talk and drive further positive change," said Bell's Chief Operating Officer Mirko Bibic, who will become President and CEO of the company following Mr. Cope's retirement in January 2020.

Launched in September 2010 as a 5-year, $50 million program to fund anti-stigma initiatives, care and access, workplace programs and new research, Bell Let's Talk has now surpassed $100 million in total Bell funding for Canadian mental health. To date, Bell Let's Talk has helped provide millions of Canadians with access to mental health services through partnerships with more than 1,000 organizations in every province and territory, including universities, hospitals, workplace organizations, local governments and community groups.

A social media phenomenon, #BellLetsTalk is now Canada's most used Twitter hashtag ever and is consistently the top Twitter trend in Canada and around the world on Bell Let's Talk Day. Bell Let's Talk has welcomed more than 1 billion total messages of support for progress in mental health from Canadians and people around the world since the first Bell Let's Talk Day in 2011, driving Bell's funding of the initiative to $100,695,763.75 so far.

Bell Let's Talk Day 2020 is on January 29. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About Mary Deacon
A graduate of the University of Guelph, Ms. Deacon served as founding President of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation before joining Bell Let's Talk as Chair in 2010. She has received honourary doctorates from both her alma mater and Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in mental health. A member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Mental Health, Ms. Deacon has twice been named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

About Bell Let's Talk
The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services throughout the country. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.

Media inquiries:

Caroline Audet
514-391-9794
caroline.audet@bell.ca
@Bell_LetsTalk
@Bell_News

SOURCE Bell Canada