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IQALUIT, NU, May 2, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Let's Talk today announced $1 million in funding for community mental health resources in Canada's northern territories of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon. The announcement comes as Olympian Clara Hughes visits Iqaluit, Canada's northern-most capital city, on Day 50 of her Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk.
Working with local healthcare and community leaders, Bell will invest $1 million over the next 5 years in mental health care and anti-stigma programs in the 3 territories, with a focus on assisting Inuit and First Nation youth at the community level.
"In all my visits to the North, I've been struck by the tremendous hope and potential of the young people I meet. But with the reality of often-isolated communities and fewer resources overall than in other parts of Canada, I've also come to understand the real need for more mental health support here," said Clara. "I'm so proud that Bell Let's Talk is stepping up to directly address the unique mental health needs in Canada's North."
Nunavut Kamatisiaqtut Help Line is the first beneficiary of this new Bell Let's Talk funding, receiving a cash donation and communications support from Bell's northern subsidiary Northwestel totaling approximately $70,000 over 5 years.
Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut (meaning "thoughtful people who care" in Inuktitut) Help Line provides anonymous and confidential telephone counselling for Northerners 365 days a year. For more information, please visit NunavutHelpLine.ca. Help line numbers are 867-979-3333 or toll-free 1-800-265-3333, with service currently available from 9 pm to midnight eastern time.
"As we celebrate the continuing success of Clara's Big Ride in growing awareness and action in mental health across Canada, Bell Let's Talk is proud to launch a program that directly addresses the need for expanded mental health services here in the North," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE, in Iqaluit. "With guidance from local leaders, we're eager to move mental health forward in communities across Canada's territories."
"We all have a role to play when it comes to mental health and that's why our Government has made investments into research and programs to address this important issue. I commend Bell Canada, Clara Hughes and all their partners for taking a leadership role in such an important issue facing all Canadians," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council.
Share in Clara's Big Ride
Visiting communities in Canada's territories from April 30 to May 15, Clara is now on Day 50 of her unprecedented 12,000-kilometre bike journey around Canada to grow the mental health conversation in every province and territory - with the ultimate objective of achieving a nation free of the stigma around mental illness. Lasting a total of 110 days, Clara's Big Ride began on March 14 and will conclude in Ottawa on Canada Day, July 1.
Everyone can participate in the Ride through community events and social media. Please visit Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide or follow the latest Ride news on Twitter at @Bell_LetsTalk or on Facebook at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk.
Clara's Big Ride is powered by our National Partners - Aimia, BMO, Canadian Tire, Cisco, Lundbeck, President's Choice and Samsung - who are providing significant support for the Ride. For more information, please visit Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide/Partners.
Bell Let's Talk
Bell Let's Talk is a national charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada with Clara's Big Ride, the Bell Let's Talk Day anti-stigma campaign and significant funding for community care, research and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
SOURCE Bell Canada
Image with caption: "Northwestel President Paul Flaherty and Bell Let's Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes make a donation to Sheila Levy, John Vander Velde, Eduardo Viega, and Lawrence Levy of Nunavut Kamatisiaqtut Help Line as Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk visits Iqaluit (CNW Group/Bell Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140502_C6337_PHOTO_EN_39878.jpg
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