National spokesperson, six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, leads the campaign inviting all Canadians to talk, text and tweet about mental health to help end the stigma around mental illness and support mental health initiatives around the country. She says, “We all have family members, friends or colleagues who will experience mental illness or we may struggle ourselves, as I have – yet most people impacted still won’t seek support because they fear admitting they need help. By talking openly and supportively about mental illness, we can all help break the stigma and improve Canadian mental health.”
The money raised on Let's Talk Day will be donated in addition to Bell's initial commitment in 2010 of $50 million over five years. Bell has pledged to increase Bell Let’s Talk funding based on the growing engagement of Canadians in the mental health movement on Bell Let’s Talk Day.
From the Let's Talk Day news release:
While 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetimes, 2 in 3 suffer in silence for fear of being judged or rejected because of the continuing stigma. Bell Let’s Talk is working to end the stigma while providing significant funding to leading mental health institutions and grassroots organizations in every province and territory, championing new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research at Canadian universities and other institutions.
Some facts about mental illness and its impact on Canadians:
- Less than 4% of medical research funding goes to mental illness research.
- Every day, 500,000 Canadians miss work due to a form of mental illness.
- 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life.
- At this very moment, some 3 million Canadians are suffering from depression.
- Only 49% of Canadians said they would socialize with a friend who has a serious mental illness.
If you are Canadian and are concerned about any of these statistics, I hope you will join me and participate in Let's Talk Day on the 28th. I'll be focusing all of my attention on Twitter, so I'll "see" you there - I'm @sarahebroadfoot. Let's get talking.