5 prominent Canadians join the 2016 Bell Let's Talk campaign
Bell Let's Talk National Spokesperson Clara Hughes speaks at the Bell Let's Talk special announcement held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (Marta Iwanek/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Monday, January 4, 2016 10:05AM EST
For the sixth year, Bell has launched the campaign officially kicking off a five-week countdown to Bell Let's Talk Day on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
The annual event encourages Canadians to break down barriers around mental health by joining in a country-wide discussion on the topic.
To encourage the conversation, on Jan. 27, for every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Alliant customers on that day, the company will donate five cents to mental health programs.
Bell will also donate five cents for every tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image on Jan. 27.
This year's event comes after a record-breaking 2015 campaign, which saw the #BellLetsTalk hashtag propel to the number one Twitter trend in Canada and worldwide.
In total, Canadians contributed 122,150,772 tweets, texts, calls and Facebook shares to the 2015 campaign, leading to a $6,107,538.60 increase in Bell funding for mental health.
Now, Bell has renewed its commitment to the cause, pledging to continue the initiative for another five years and promising funding of at least $100 million.
The company has also brought a number of high-profile spokespersons on board to spearhead the initiative.
Singer Serena Ryder, Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock and actor Marie-Soleil Dion are all lending their voices to the effort to end stigma around mental health.
They are among the five newest members of the Bell Let's Talk Day team, which is anchored by Olympic champion Clara Hughes.
Former Alouette and Argonaut Etienne Boulay and singer-songwriter Sean McCann have also joined the campaign this year.