Student-athletes, university sports conferences and Bell Let's Talk team up to grow the mental health conversation on Canadian campuses nationwide
- 20,000 student-athletes, the Atlantic, Québec, Ontario and Canada West university sport conferences, and 53 Canadian universities join forces for Bell Let's Talk Day, January 2
- 6 Academic All-Canadian student-athletes feature in Bell Let's Talk video series talking about mental illness and how to fight the stigma
- 100 university sports games across Canada to host Bell Let's Talk events
MONTRÉAL, January 10, 2017 – Bell Let's Talk, Canadian universities and Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), Ontario University Athletics (OUA), and Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) today announced a national student initiative to promote mental health on campuses across Canada.
On Bell Let's Talk Day this January 25, more than 20,000 student-athletes will help lead the campus conversation about mental health, joining with fellow students and others in the university community to discuss the impact of mental illness and how to fight the stigma that keeps too many from seeking help. Student-athletes are also hosting events at 100 university games leading up to January 25, and appearing in a new Bell Let's Talk video series.
The University of Winnipeg Wesmen will be hosting their "Bell Let's Talk" Game this Saturday (January 14th) when the Wesmen Volleyball teams host the UBC Okanagan Heat. Men take the court at 5:00 p.m. followed by the women's match at 6:30 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to come early to sign the "Bell Let's Talk" banner and show their support. The banner will be displayed on the second floor of the Duckworth Centre. Special gifts will also be given to fans in attendance.
"I'm ecstatic that student-athletes at campuses everywhere are coming together in such a huge way to drive the mental health conversation, sharing their stories and inviting their fellow students to join in making a difference," said Clara Hughes, Canada's 6-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson. "Athletes are deeply involved in campus life and passionate about their school communities, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to them all for bringing their incredible energy and ideas to the mental health cause."
"On behalf of the regional university sports conferences across Canada – the RSEQ, OUA, CWUAA and the AUS – we congratulate our student-athletes for leading the way," said Phil Currie, Executive Director of Atlantic University Sport. "They'll be spreading the mental health message at campuses across Canada, sparking conversations with fellow students and offering their own perspectives on how we can all make a positive change."
"The Bell Let's Talk partnership with Canadian universities has grown from 11 schools in Atlantic Canada in 2016 to 53 right across the country this year, from 2,200 student-athletes to more than 20,000," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Conversations will be taking place in classrooms, residences and sport facilities on campuses across the country, helping combat the stigma and supporting those who struggle. We look forward to the continued growth of this great initiative in the years to come."
Leading up to January 25, 100 university sports games across the country will host Bell Let's Talk events. Fans will receive thunder sticks and temporary tattoos and have the opportunity to sign talk bubbles and banners in support of mental health. Fans are also encouraged to take pictures and share on social media on Bell Let's Talk Day to support Canadian mental health and drive Bell's funding for mental health programs.
Fighting the stigma: Student-athlete video series
Student-athletes from across the country have also produced a series of videos based on the 5 simple ways to help end stigma around mental illness. Videos featuring participants from each of the regional university sports conferences will be released tomorrow, January 11. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/OneTeam.
AUS: Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, Memorial University, Mount Allison University, Université de Moncton, University of New Brunswick, Saint Mary's University, University of Prince Edward Island, St. Francis Xavier University and Saint Thomas University.
RSEQ: Bishop's University, Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université du Québec à Montréal.
OUA: Algoma University, Brock University, Carelton University, University of Guelph, Lakehead University, Laurentian University, Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster University, Nipissing University, University of Ottawa, Queen's University, Royal Military College, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Trent University, UOIT, University of Waterloo, Western University, University of Windsor and York University.
CWUAA: University of Alberta, Brandon University, University of British Columbia, UBC Okanagan, University of Calgary, University of Fraser Valley, University of Lethbridge, MacEwan University, University of Manitoba, Mount Royal University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Thompson River University, Trinity Western University, University of Victoria and University of Winnipeg.
Bell Let's Talk Day
On January 25, Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions at no extra charge to participants:
· Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
· Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk
· Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk
· Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk
· Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk Snapchat geofilter
Bell Let's Talk Day 2016 set new records with 125.9 million messages of support, growing Bell's funding for Canadian mental health by $6,295,764.75. #BellLetsTalk was the #1 Twitter hashtag in Canada for all of 2016, and the most used in the world on Bell Let's Talk Day 2016.
With its original anchor donation of $50 million and the results of the first 6 Bell Let's Talk Days, Bell's total commitment to mental health now stands at $79,919,178.55, and is expected to surpass $100 million in 2020. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
View Canada West Video
View National USport Video