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Bell Let’s Talk Day is Changing the Way Canadians View Mental Health

Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 30 and they are inviting Canadians to once again open dialogue about mental health.

As the stigma around mental health continues to lessen, businesses are realizing the role they play in this conversation. We spoke with Bell Let’s Talk Chair, Mary Deacon, about how businesses can support their employees when it comes to mental health.

Why should businesses care about the mental health of their employees?
Mental health problems cost Canada’s economy more than $50 billion a year, and about 30 percent of short- and long-term disability claims stem from mental illnesses. So taking care of the mental health of your workforce isn’t just good for them, it’s essential to a company’s ongoing success. Implementing an overall mental health strategy is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for business.

What can businesses do to improve mental health initiatives in the workplace?
For anyone facing mental illness, stigma is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome and is the leading reason why people living with mental illness do not seek support. This is why one of the most important first steps for any employer is starting the conversation about mental health in the workplace. To help organizations better support their employees, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, with support from Bell, created the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The Standard is a simple to follow framework that guides mental health efforts in the workplace and has been implemented by hundreds of organizations, from small businesses to governments, including Bell. At Bell, we’ve also implemented a Workplace Mental Health Leadership certificate program, the world’s first university-certified workplace mental health program, developed in partnership with Queen’s University and our employee and family assistance provider. It’s for any organization to implement and so far more than 400 companies across the country have taken advantage of it.

How can people get involved in Bell Let’s Talk Day?
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, millions of people in Canada and around the world send messages of support and encouragement for those struggling with mental illness, share their own stories, and offer ideas about how we can improve everyone’s mental health.

Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every text message and cell phone call from our customers, every tweet using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag, every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame on Instagram and filter on Snapchat, and every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Total Bell Let’s Talk Day interactions since the first event in 2011 are expected to exceed 1 billion on January 30. And Bell’s total funding commitment for mental health is expected to surpass $100 million that day.

To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

North Forge is hosting a Lunch & Learn with Andi Sharma as our guest speaker. Why are events like this important?

In-person events like the North Forge Lunch & Learn are valuable conversation starters for increasing education and awareness about mental health in our communities. The goal of these events is to engage Manitobans in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle. Hearing stories like Andi’s help break down stereotypes and get people talking about their personal mental health journeys. By learning about other people’s experiences, we can take steps to help ourselves and others improve mental health and reduce the risk and stigma of mental illness.

Don’t forget to get involved on January 30, making a difference is simple!

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