Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

January 28, 2014 07:00 ET

Their Excellencies Highlight Rural and Military Mental Health Services

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 28, 2014) - On the occasion of Bell Let's Talk Day, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, will highlight a military initiative and a community-based program that provide important mental health services to clients in the National Capital Region and in neighbouring rural areas.

One in five Canadians suffer from mental illness", said the Governor General. "Today, Sharon and I are pleased to join the conversation in the hopes of breaking the discriminatory barriers that so many around us face. We believe that the Bell Let's Talk Day initiative is a great way to help raise awareness about mental health and bring about positive change in Canadians' homes and workplaces."

This morning, Her Excellency will meet with the members of the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team, a client-centered mental health program offered by the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital in the Prescott-Russell region. As an ACT Team intervener for the day, Her Excellency will be briefed about the services and programs ACT provides to surrounding rural communities, as well as the profile of its clientele and the different challenges it faces. She will then accompany the team on the road where she will have the opportunity to witness first-hand their work with clients diagnosed with severe mental disorders that are living at home.

In the afternoon, His Excellency will visit the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre in Ottawa. The Governor General will be accompanied by Major-General David Millar, Chief of Military Personnel, and a representative of the Canadian Armed Forces Surgeon General. While there, he will be briefed on the Surgeon General's Mental Health Strategy, and will learn about overall support offered to Canadian Armed Forces members suffering from mental illnesses and how this support will evolve in the coming years. He will also observe a Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy system demonstration, tour the centre's facilities to learn about other services it provides, and meet with staff.

About Bell Let's Talk

The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a national charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada with significant funding for community care, research, and workplace best practices. It also fights the stigma around mental illness with high-profile events like Bell Let's Talk Day.

Set for January 28, 2014, the fourth annual Bell Let's Talk Day invites Canadians to join the conversation and help end the stigma around mental illness. On that day, Bell will donate 5 cents for every text message sent, every mobile and long distance call made, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk image. To learn more, please visit www.bell.ca/LetsTalk.

A video of Their Excellencies talking about why mental health is important to them is available online at: http://youtu.be/WWYDRO5P0EI.

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