Our Initiatives

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about Canada’s mental health. At that time, most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities, engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year.

As a result, institutions and organizations large and small in every region received new funding for access, care and research from Bell Let’s Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause.

Building on ten years of increased awareness and acceptance around mental health, Bell Let’s Talk is focused on engaging Canadians to take action to create positive change in mental health.

In March 2020, Bell announced the extension of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative for a further 5 years and an increase in Bell’s total funding commitment for Canadian mental health to at least $155 million.

4 pillars

Dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk promotes awareness and action with a strategy built on 4 key pillars: Fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.

Anti-stigma

One of the biggest hurdles for anyone struggling with mental illness is overcoming the stigma attached to it. The annual Bell Let’s Talk awareness campaign and Day is driving the national conversation to help reduce this stigma and promote awareness and understanding, and talking is an important first step towards lasting change.

Bell Let’s Talk Day 2021 saw Canadians and people around the world take action, sharing a record 159,173,435 messages of support for mental health, resulting in a total of $7,958,671.75 in Bell funding to mental health initiatives in Canada.

Care & access

Bell supports a variety of organizations, including grassroots agencies, local hospitals and post-secondary institutions, to help provide Canadians with support services when and where they need it.

Through the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund and various major gifts, Bell has supported organizations in every province and territory in Canada, enabling them to improve access to mental health supports and services in communities nationwide.

In March 2020, Bell and the Graham Boeckh Foundation announced a $10 million partnership to accelerate the delivery of mental health services for young people through Integrated Youth Services (IYS) hubs across Canada. To learn more about the IYS model click here.

Bell Let’s Talk funding also supported the development of the new National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students, championed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The Standard is available to post-secondary institutions as they work to foster positive mental health for students. The new Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund, announced in January 2021 will provide $2.5 million in initial grants for post-secondary institutions to implement the Standard.

Research

Research holds the greatest promise to better understand treatments and solutions. Bell is investing in best-in-class research programs with the potential to have a transformative impact on the mental health and well-being of Canadians.

Bell Let’s Talk has funded research projects across the country, including $2 million to fund the world’s first university chair in mental health and anti-stigma research at Queen’s University and $1 million to fund Canada’s first biobank of biological, social and psychological data at l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal.

In January 2021, Brain Canada and Bell Let’s Talk announced the new Bell Let’s Talk-Brain Canada Mental Health Research Program to accelerate Canadian brain research while helping to address the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health care. Funding for the program is made up of a $2 million gift from Bell Let’s Talk matched by the federal government through the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF).

Workplace health

One in three workplace disability claims in Canada are related to mental illnesses. Bell is committed to leading by example in our own workplace by adopting the voluntary Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and is encouraging greater corporate engagement across Canada.

Since 2010, more than 17,000 Bell employees and 12,000 Bell leaders, have completed mental health training. Bell’s initiatives to improve mental health awareness, training and benefits have reduced short-term disability claims related to mental health by 20%, and reduced relapse and recurrence by 50%.

Mental health affects us all

In their words: stories from people impacted by mental illness. Discover their stories below.

Bell Let's Talk Day

SMALL ACTIONS - BIG IMPACT. On Bell Let’s Talk Day 2021, Canadians took action sharing 159,173,435 messages of support, driving $7,958,671.75 in new mental health funding by Bell.

Find out where the funds go

Funding Opportunities

Bell Let’s Talk funding supports projects that improve access to mental health supports and services for people in Canada.

Learn more