Mar. 30, 2011 (Canada NewsWire Group) --
Significant commitment addresses critical health issue affecting all of
us in some way
Bell and Clara Hughes encourage all Canadian governments to further accelerate their support
MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today applauded the Government of Ontario's announcement of new funding for children's mental health and addiction issues with its reported three-year, $257-million commitment addressing a critical healthcare need affecting all of us.
"We congratulate the Ontario government for providing much-needed resources to address children's mental health," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative. "This strong commitment supports improved services and care for the most vulnerable members of our society. We encourage governments at every level across Canada to accelerate their own promotion of Canadian mental health."
Mental illness is a pervasive but underfunded health care issue in Canada. At least 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lives - every one of us has a family member, friend or colleague who will be affected. But although mental illness represents 15% of Canada's health care burden, it receives little more than 5% of health funding.
Bell has made a strong commitment of its own to mental health with the 5-year, $50-million Bell Mental Health Initiative, the largest program ever undertaken by a Canadian corporation in support of mental health. Focused on 4 pillars - anti-stigma, improved care and access, research and workplace leadership - Bell's initiative was recently highlighted by the recent high-profile Bell Let's Talk Day campaign.
Led by national spokesperson and Olympian Clara Hughes, Bell Let's Talk Day works to increase awareness and discussion of mental illness, reducing stigma and raising new funds for mental health programs.
"On behalf of Bell Let's Talk Day, I welcome the Ontario government's clear commitment to supporting the mental health of our children," said Ms. Hughes. "I encourage other governments to recognize the importance of this commitment and work to build on this initiative from coast to coast to coast."
For every long-distance call made and every text message sent by Bell and Bell Aliant customers on Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to mental health programs. This year, on February 9 Bell customers made more than 66 million calls and texts, raising more than $3.3 million in new funding for Canadian mental health.
To learn more about the Bell Mental Health Initiative, please visit www.bell.ca/letstalk.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including Bell Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell Satellite TV and Bell Fibe TV, Bell Home Phone local and long distance, and Bell Business Markets IP-broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) services.
Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For Bell product and service information, please visit www.bell.ca. For BCE corporate information, please visit www.bce.ca.
Bell Media Relations