Celebrities add voices to #BellLetsTalk conversation
In this Nov. 7, 2015 file photo, Justin Bieber arrives at the Cannes festival palace in Cannes, southeastern France. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Lionel Cironneau)
Published Wednesday, January 27, 2016 2:20PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 28, 2016 6:09AM EST
From Justin Trudeau to Justin Bieber, a wide range of public figures joined in a global conversation about mental health on Wednesday.
The messages were part of Bell Let's Talk Day, an annual event that encourages supporters to end the stigma around mental illness by speaking up about the issue.
For every text message or call made by Bell customers that day, every tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk image, Bell pledged to donate five cents to mental health initiatives.
By Wednesday evening, Bell had recorded more than 100 million Bell Let's Talk interactions.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared his support early Wednesday morning, encouraging Canadians to join him in working to end the stigma.
It’s #BellLetsTalk day! Let’s work to end the stigma around mental illness. RT this to donate 5¢ to Canadian mental health programs.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 27, 2016
And Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall shared the hashtag with a message to residents of the town of La Loche, Sask., where a recent mass shooting shocked the community.
"You don't have to fight alone, especially after tragedy," he said.
Some of Canada's most famous artists also participated in the event.
Singer Nelly Furtado tweeted the hashtag with the message "This year, I'm being honest about my own story. I guess talk IS the point."
As did American rock star Alice Cooper.
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres shared a #BellLetsTalk message with her 53.2 million followers.
And actor William Shatner went on a tweeting mission, messaging celebrities from around the world and asking them to join in the conversation.
Star Wars actor Carrie Fisher obliged.
Ex-NHL star Theo Fleury credited spirituality and aboriginal healing with helping him overcome his own struggles with mental illness, and urged others to speak up as well.
"Courage is contagious!" he wrote, "'Me too' are the 2 greatest words I've heard on my journey from others (sic)."
Courage is contagious!!! "Me too" are the 2 greatest words I've heard on my journey from others. "I believe you!" Is another #BellLetsTalk— Theo Fleury (@TheoFleury14) January 27, 2016
And in the U.S., the Minnesota Wild did too.
#BellLetsTalk even popped up in Melbourne, where Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic is competing at the Australian Open.
And it caught the attention of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Hadfield shared the hashtag with the message "Never let your problems go unspoken."
The more subtle the change, the harder it is to solve. Never let your problems go unspoken. Please re-Tweet #BellLetsTalk today. Thanks.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 27, 2016