Bell Let’s Talk supports community mental health in Manitoba

Winnipeg, MB , Thursday, October 6, 2016

In celebration of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Bell Let’s Talk today announced grants totalling $100,000 to help 7 local Manitoba organizations deliver mental health support in their communities.

“Bell Let’s Talk funds the work of major health care institutions, universities and other national research and care initiatives, but we know it’s critical to get behind the smaller and more local mental health groups that make such a positive difference for people living with mental illness,” said Clara Hughes, Canada’s 6-time Olympic medallist and national spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk. “As a loyal Manitoban and proud Canadian, I’m very happy that we’re able to support more of these great grassroots initiatives here in my home province and in every corner of the country with the Community Fund.”

The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund provides grants each year totaling $1 million for local mental health initiatives. Since 2011, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported almost 350 community groups in every region of Canada, including the 72 receiving grants this year.

This year’s Manitoba recipients are: Artbeat Studio Inc., Artists in Healthcare Manitoba, Eastman Safety Training Centre, Inspire Community Outreach Inc., Jewish Child and Family Service – Winnipeg, Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, and Siloam Mission.

“On behalf of all Manitoba recipients of community fund grants in 2016, Siloam Mission wishes to thank Bell Let's Talk for recognizing the importance of supporting people living with mental health issues and their families at the local level,” said Laiza Pacheco, Director of Programs at Siloam Mission. “With this new funding, we and other organizations will be able to offer more mental health support services to more people in Manitoba.”

To learn more about the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, please visit

To learn more about Mental Illness Awareness Week, please visit

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 2010 as a 5-year program with a $50 million donation from Bell, and a commitment to grow funding based on the engagement of Canadians in the cause on Bell Let's Talk Day each year.

In September 2015, the fifth anniversary of the initiative, Bell announced it would extend Bell Let's Talk a further 5 years and commit to at least $100 million in total funding for Canadian mental health.

Bell's total donation commitment to mental health has now grown to $79,919,178.55. Since 2010, Bell Let's Talk has supported more than 600 organizations from the largest healthcare and research institutions to the smallest grassroots mental health organizations in every province and territory.

About Bell Canada's largest communications company, Bell provides consumer, business and government customers with a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services from Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading television, radio, out of home and digital media properties. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). To learn more, please visit or

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis Bell Media Relations 613 785-1427 @Bell_News

The 2016 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is supporting 7 organizations in Manitoba

Artbeat Studio Inc. – Winnipeg - Performing and literary arts and music program

Artbeat provides free studio and gallery space with mentorship, to promote recovery and empowerment through artistic expression for people with mental illness. With the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant, Artbeat Studio will expand its current residency program by implementing performing and literary arts and promotion of poets throughout Northern and rural Manitoba. Artbeat’s music program providing live performances and career opportunities in a supportive environment will also be expanded.

Artists in Healthcare Manitoba – Selkirk - Art Therapy

To further expand its highly successful art and music programs at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, Artists in Healthcare will use its Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant to support a dance/movement therapist and expansion of the music and art mentorship program.

Eastman Safety Training Centre – Steinbach - Mental Health First Aid training

The Centre, which offers corporate and community first aid and safety training, will use the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to launch the first free Mental Health First Aid training classes in southeast Manitoba.

Inspire Community Outreach Inc. – Winnipeg - Creative expression classes for at-risk children

Inspire works with youth to build their skills and confidence through a variety of programs including therapeutic self expression, cooking and physical activity. With the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant, the organization will be able to offer 8 creative expression classes to 4 different populations of youth facing or at-risk for developing mental health challenges. They will work with children and teens who participate in Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, VOICES Manitoba Youth in Care, the Winnipeg School Division and Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.

Jewish Child and Family Service – Winnipeg - Mental health community support for people living on their own

This agency serves many clients with various mental health differences who, while living on their own, would benefit from learning and expanding their skills with daily tasks such as grocery shopping and taking transit. The Bell Let’s Talk community Fund grant will enable the program to hire a mental health community support worker who will provide one-on-one support for those individuals by reaching out to serve them in their homes or in the community, wherever the need is greatest.

Manitoba Schizophrenia Society – Winnipeg - Voice Hearers Support program for people who hear voices

After successfully piloting a program to address the needs of people who hear voices in their heads – a common symptom of schizophrenia – the Society will use the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to extend its Voice Hearers Support Program. This includes three 10-week sessions to help hearers learn coping strategies and a bi-weekly support group to break down the isolation these individuals often feel.

Siloam Mission – Winnipeg - Mental Health training

Siloam Mission's programs assist clients to move forward in their lives through goal setting, weekly meetings and other support. The Mission’s emergency services keep people alive and their transition services help people live up to their potential by supporting their access to mental health resources. They will use the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to train front line support staff and select members of the volunteer and client community to assist these individuals, of which there are about 135 on the caseload at any given time.