More than $4.8M raised for mental health during Bell Let's Talk Day
Bell Let's Talk
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:08AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013 1:13PM EST
Canadians responded in a big way to Bell Let’s Talk Day, sending out more than 96 million, texts, tweets and Facebook shares. With Bell promising to donate 5 cents for each of these communications, the company announced Wednesday it will be donating more than $4.8 million for Canadian mental health programs.
"The Bell Let's Talk team is profoundly grateful for the depth of support for the cause from all corners of Canadian life,” George Cope, Bell and BCE’s president and CEO said Wednesday in a statement.
“To everyone who talked about mental health yesterday, and will keep on talking until we end the stigma, thank you very much for your support."
Bell Let's Talk ambassador Clara Hughes was also delighted with the response and the money raised.
"The Bell Let's Talk conversation has grown significantly each year but the energy and scope of this year's campaign beat all expectations,” she said.
“On behalf of the untold numbers of Canadians whose lives will be improved by your participation, I truly thank everyone for making Bell Let's Talk 2013 such an incredible success!"
Bell Let's Talk 2013 really took off on Twitter, with 1,562,485 tweets and retweets. #BellLet Talk was a top trend in both Canada and the U.S. on Twitter, with support from hundreds of thousands of Canadians, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, federal members of Parliament, the Canadian Armed Forces, sports teams and Canadian entertainers including Justin Bieber and William Shatner.
Bell launched the Let's Talk mental health initiative in September 2010 with an initial commitment of $50 million over five years. With the results of Bell Let's Talk Day 2013, the company is now committed to investing $62,043,289.30 in Canadian mental health.
Bell calls mental illness one of the most pervasive yet misunderstood and underfunded of health issues. The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is based on four "action pillars" to turn that around: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices.
The initiative aims to provide new funding for leading mental health hospitals and grassroots organizations, drive new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and support new research.
In Halifax on Tuesday, more than 1,000 people packed the Halifax Metro Centre for a Let’s Talk event that tried to break the Guinness World Record for the most amount of texts sent at the same time.
With CTV’s Seamus O’Regan hosting the event, the group began sending simultaneous text messages about mental health around 12:30 p.m. local time. Half an hour later, not only had the texters broken the previous record set in 2011, they had nearly doubled it, sending 1,072 texts at the same time.
With Bell as the parent company of CTV and its partner networks -- CTV News Channel, CP24, TSN, eTalk, MuchMusic, and MTV Canada – all offered programming dedicated to the topic of mental health throughout the day Tuesday.
The discussions included those who had and those who still suffer mental health problems, as well as many mental health experts who offered their knowledge and advice.