Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 28, 2014 09:00 ET

Canadian Armed Forces Applaud 'Bell Let's Talk' Day and Encourage Canadians to Recognize Mental Illness and Seek Care

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 28, 2014) - Department of National Defence

The Minister of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) applaud Bell for its fourth annual Bell Let's Talk Day. The campaign invites all Canadians to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness and support mental health initiatives around the country by talking, texting, and tweeting about mental health today, and every day.CAF personnel are encouraged to participate and to discuss mental health with their colleagues, friends and families.

For today only, Bell will donate five cents for every text message sent, every mobile and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk. The donations will be put towards programs dedicated to mental health in Canada.

The mental health needs of military personnel are a priority for the Government of Canada and the CAF. In supporting initiatives like Bell Let's Talk, the CAF encourages serving and former personnel, and all Canadians, to recognize the signs of mental illness and to seek care - whether for themselves or their loved ones.

Quick Facts

  • If you or someone you know requires emergency mental health assistance, please call 911. Help is also available by calling the CAF Member Assistance Program at 1-800-268-7708 (open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) or going to the nearest CAF health clinic or civilian emergency health care centre.

  • In 2013, Bell Let's Talk Day resulted in a total of 96 266 266 texts, long distance calls, tweets and Facebook shares, meaning Bell Let's Talk added another $4 813 313.30 to its funding total to mental health initiatives. Bell has now committed $62 043 289.30 to Canadian mental health programs over the past three years.

  • The CAF's mental health program has been recognized by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and civilian organizations for its comprehensive approach to mental health, its stigma reduction initiatives, its mental health research and its mental health training and awareness programs.

Quotes

"The Canadian Armed Forces commends Bell for its ongoing work to raise public awareness of mental health issues through the Bell Let's Talk campaign. Increasing awareness, reducing stigma and helping to change attitudes about mental health issues are important to our Government and the Canadian Armed Forces. Together, the Canadian Armed Forces and its partners can break down barriers to accessing mental health care, both within the military and the Canadian population at large. Like all Canadians, it is essential that serving and former military personnel recognize mental health issues when they occur and realize that they are not alone - support is available."

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence

"As members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and as Canadians, we must all encourage one another to discuss and help reduce stigma about mental health issues in our professional and personal lives. We have the responsibility to watch for changes in behaviour in our colleagues, friends and family members. I encourage those in need to reach out to their families, peers, supervisors, padres and medical professionals. I commend individuals who have already come forward. After receiving care, many individuals continue successful careers in the Canadian Armed Forces and or in civilian life, and are playing an important role in helping to reduce stigma."

General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff

"Mental illness has a huge impact on the lives of individual Canadians in every sector of our society. Bell Let's Talk is proud to be a part of the solution for Canada's military families through the Bell True Patriot Love Fund, supporting mental health programs at Military Family Resource Centres across the country. Bell applauds the Canadian Armed Forces for their efforts to confront the stigma around mental illness that prevents too many from getting the care they need, and we thank them for their active participation in Bell Let's Talk. The military is a workplace like no other, and the Forces' efforts to address the particular mental health challenges facing service men and women with innovative mental health awareness and education programs have made them global leaders."

George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE

"Mental health is very complex and its maintenance is critical to the Canadian Armed Forces. Despite everything we have learned from research, we remain far from fully understanding mental illness and the optimal approaches to prevention and treatment. With our civilian and international partners, we are committed to ongoing mental health education and research in such areas as virtual reality treatment, medication, and brain imaging. Bell is a key partner whose Bell Let's Talk campaign helps fund important initiatives to increase knowledge, thus helping improve the lives of military personnel and all Canadians who suffer mental illness. Over 20 per cent of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetimes, yet two-thirds of them will suffer in silence for fear of being judged or rejected. We are working with Bell Let's Talk to fight this stigma by encouraging all Canadians to learn about mental illness, its signs and the importance of seeking care early for themselves or their loved ones. As so many successfully treated people have learned, this offers hope and the best chance of recovery."

Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, Surgeon General

Related Products

Statement - Statement by Minister Nicholson on Mental Health in the Canadian Armed Forces: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=statement-by-minister-nicholson-on-mental-health-in-the-canadian-armed-forces/hosl5n7x

Statement - Statement by General Lawson on Mental Health in the Canadian Armed Forces: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=statement-by-general-lawson-on-mental-health-in-the-canadian-armed-forces/hosl5nff

Backgrounder - Mental Health Services in the Canadian Forces: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=mental-health-services-in-the-canadian-forces/hgq87xjq

Backgrounder - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=post-traumatic-stress-disorder/hjlbrhp4

Backgrounder - Suicide and suicide prevention in the Canadian Armed Forces: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=suicide-and-suicide-prevention-in-the-canadian-armed-forces/hgq87xvu

Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR): http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-health-services-r2mr/index.page?

Associated Links

Bell Let's Talk: http://bell.ca/letstalk

Contact Information

  • Julie Di Mambro
    Press Secretary to the Minister of National Defence
    Office of the Minister of the Department of National Defence
    (613) 996-3100

    Media Relations
    Department of National Defence
    (613) 996-2353
    Toll-Free: 1 866 377-0811