Bell Let’s Talk Day: Our Commitment to Mental Health ChangeJan 20, 2023
Bell Let’s Talk Day takes place on January 25, 2023. This year marks a new era for the campaign as Bell announced it will be donating $10 million towards their $155 million goal for Canadian mental health programs. This action will replace the 5¢ donation for every social interaction with Bell that has been the staple in previous years. The goal of this shift is to put the emphasis back on making real change through action every day of the year.
The Bell Let’s Talk initiative began in 2010 with the goal of starting a conversation about mental health and mental illness in Canada. Since then, the initiative has become the largest corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, with over one hundred million dollars in donations. This incredible accomplishment helps demonstrate how important the conversation about mental health is to so many Canadians. But there’s still a lot of work to do.
Let’s Change This
Even before the pandemic, Canada was already facing a mental health crisis. Millions of people worldwide live with mental illnesses that have huge economic and personal costs. In Canada alone, mental illness affects more than 6.7 million people and prevents 500,00 employees from going to work each day1. The mental health of Canadians still has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Statistics show that people are still struggling and not getting the care they need2:
1 in 2 people struggling with their mental health aren’t getting the help they need.
1 in 4 Canadians have been experiencing high levels of anxiety.
More than 200 Canadians will attempt suicide everyday; 12 will die.
The number of opioid overdose deaths in Canada went up more than 90% during the pandemic. It’s now 20 per day.
Bell Let’s Talk
The stigma around mental health remains a major barrier to progress on the issue, as is education and awareness. Until we can finally end the stigma and educate our communities on mental health, we will struggle to identify those in need of support who feel the necessary channels to recovery may not exist. Talking to one another about how we feel and sharing our own struggles and experiences is a great start.
Bell Let’s Talk aims to address barriers by promoting awareness, acceptance, and action about mental health with a four-pillar strategy.
- Anti-stigma: a movement to get rid of the negative stigma surrounding mental illness through education, awareness and understanding, allowing all to feel capable of speaking freely and shame-free about their mental health conditions.
- Care and access: supporting care and access for a variety of organizations to care for mental health needs, including agencies, hospitals, and universities.
- Research: promotion and involvement of research around mental health and illnesses to better understand signs, symptoms, treatments, and cures.
- Workplace leadership: improving mental health in the workplace and encouraging greater corporate engagement as 1 in 3 workplace disability claims in Canada are related to mental illnesses.
Actions You Can Take
The campaign for this year’s Bell Let’s Talk is “Let’s change this.” It calls for everyone to play a part in making meaningful change in workplaces, homes, schools, and communities. Here are some of the actions you can take2:
- Choose a mental health organization to learn about or support
- Help a friend struggling with their mental health by learning how to support them
- Ask about how your school, workplace or community is creating change for mental health
- Nurture your own well-being by practicing and learning mental health strategies
- Get involved in a mental health initiative or organize an event to support mental health
- Engage in conversations about mental health to fight stigma
Gowan Consulting’s Commitment to Mental Health Change
Gowan Consulting is committed to fighting mental health stigma and empowering employee mental health. In addition to providing mental health services to organizations across the world, our business aims to create meaningful change through the following initiatives:
- Gowan Consulting has made a donation to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. This organization provides advocacy, communication, and education on suicide prevention and life promotion through providing resources, guidance, and information.
- We offer mental health benefits to our employees to ensure that they can get the care they need.
- On Bell Let’s Talk Day, our employees are sharing their stories and actions on how to create meaningful change on social media. We aim to inspire others, reduce stigma, and spread awareness all year round.
- We offer free mental health resources to educate others and increase ease of access to important tools and strategies.
How Can Gowan Consulting Help?
- Are you a manager trying to build your skills in supporting employees with mental distress? Sign up for our last public Manager Mental Health Training on January 26, 2023. Learn more about having a customized training session for your team.
- Make a referral or contact us to learn more about we can support the mental health needs of your organization. We can provide mental health training or refer your employees to Occupational Therapists who can help.
- Free resources:
- Watch our past mental health webinars on YouTube. Sign up for our newest free webinar, 2022 in Review: What’s Next for Our Workplaces, scheduled for January 31st, 2023.
- Watch Nicolette in the Now on YouTube for free guided meditations with Occupational Therapist Nicolette Gowan.
- Watch our Mental Health, Resilience and Stress Management Webinar for free until January 31st using the code LETSTALK. Learn the tools and strategies to manage stress and maintain your mental health!
- Download our free whitepaper on mental health and inclusion for employees with disabilities in the workplace.
- Book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our consultants. We can provide you strategies, look at your unique case, and guide you to the correct service you need.
 The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (n.d.) Mental illness and addiction: Facts and statistics. CAMH. Retrieved January 18, 2023, from https://www.camh.ca/en/driving-change/the-crisis-is-real/mental-health-statistics
 Bell Canada. (2023). Learn how our projects create a positive change. Bell Let’s Talk. Retrieved January 18, 2023, from https://letstalk.bell.ca/