Bell Let’s Talk rolling out for eighth year

Bell Canada is promoting its seventh annual Bell Let’s Talk day, a campaign designed to raise awareness about mental health, on Jan. 25.

“One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma attached to it,” the Let’s Talk website says.

Tag Your Tweets: Various social media for Bell Let’s Talk in Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. On Jan. 25, 2017, Bell will donate five cents to mental health institutions for every social media post using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. (Photo by Zenna Wilberg /The Press)

In order to help overcome this stigma, Bell launched Let’s Talk in 2010, and has staged the event annually since.

For every text sent on Jan. 25, Bell will donate five cents to mental health initiatives.

Bell will also donate five cents for every social media post using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, on this day.

Funds raised through the campaign are donated to various mental health institutions across Canada, the website says.

Some of the benefits from previous years included new funding for access, care and research, and an increase in awareness about mental health.

Bell focuses on four pillars of improvement, including anti-stigma, care and access, workplace health, and research.

Jolene Pinsent, a third-year nursing student at Mount Royal University, recently completed a course in mental health.

“Bell is helping to make our society more accepting of anyone who wants to talk about mental health,” she said in an interview.

“Events like Let’s Talk show the topic of mental illness doesn’t have to be ignored or kept a secret,” Pinsent said.

Pinsent said a major part of reducing stigma is simply discussing mental health, and Bell’s campaign is a good way of promoting this.

A new addition to this year’s campaign is the use of Studio Bell, or the National Music Centre (NMC), for a day of events designed to contribute to the campaign.

The day’s programming includes a mental health exhibition, a keynote address by Jennifer Buchanan, a tour of the NMC, and an evening performance by musician Séan McCann.

All daytime programming is included with price of admission and the evening performance is free, although tickets are limited to two per person.

Because of the location, this year’s Let’s Talk campaign also discusses the benefits of music therapy.

Events like Let’s Talk show the topic of mental illness doesn’t have to be ignored or kept a secret. – Jolene Pinsent

Andrew Mosker is the president, and CEO for the NMC.

“The power of music to explore, treat and combat stigma around mental health is undeniable, and the National Music Centre is proud to partner with Bell Let’s Talk and a host of their community partners to become part of this important national discussion,” Mosker says on Studio Bell’s website.

Partners of Bell Let’s Talk include the Calgary Mental Health Association, the Calgary Counselling Centre, Guitars for Vets Canada, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

About Zenna Wilberg 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Zenna Wilberg is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.

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