“Mental health issues aren’t new, and they aren’t just going to disappear anytime soon. We need to encourage Canadians to be there for each other now, and in the future.”
That’s what Bell Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Mental Health Monika Mielnik told us when we spoke to her in the days leading up to this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 26. Bell is a longtime client of LifeSpeak and a great example of an organization prioritizing employee mental health and reducing stigma.
This year’s results
Bell Let’s Talk Day 2022 set a new record with over $8 million in new mental health Bell funding thanks to more than 164 million messages of support, a 3.2% increase from last year. #BellLetsTalk took the #1 trend position in Canada and worldwide on Twitter, and there were more than 47 million total interactions across all social media platforms.
“The support Canadians have shown for mental health this year has been incredible,” adds Mielnik. “I want to encourage everyone to keep listening, keep talking and keep being there for each other. Through simple actions, we can continue to reduce stigma and ensure everyone from our diverse communities can get the mental health support they deserve.”
Over the past 12 years, Bell’s total mental health funding commitment has reached over $129 million towards their $155 million target. New Bell Let’s Talk funding this year includes $600,000 in grants from the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund to 6 organizations supporting the mental health and well-being of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities in Canada.
Earlier in January, Bell also opened its Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for 2022 grant applications. The $2 million annual program will provide grants of up to $25,000 for local and grassroots mental health initiatives. It also announced several major initiatives across Canada, including a $250,000 partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to provide greater crisis support to Indigenous communities, and a $1.5 million donation by the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership to British Columbia’s Foundry to support integrated youth services.
To learn more about Bell Let’s Talk, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell’s approach to employee mental health
Mielnik says Bell is committed to reducing stigma and improving mental health within its own organization as well.
It recently enhanced its psychological care benefits. It’s now one of the few organizations that provides unlimited coverage for licensed psychotherapists, social workers, couple therapists and more to employees and their eligible family members. On top of that, it offers a wide range of existing supports like LifeSpeak and Employee and Family Assistance Programs.
In 2021, Bell had over 27,000 team members take part in mental health campaign activities. These included expert-led panels sharing best practices while inspirational speakers offered personal stories on a wide range of mental health issues. Employees overwhelmingly enjoyed this approach: the campaign activities earned a 91% employee satisfaction score.
To support its employees even further, Bell also relies on the LifeSpeak platform. The long-term LifeSpeak client offers its employees and their families unlimited, confidential access to a wide range of LifeSpeak micro-learning mental health and wellbeing content, including micro-learning videos, blogs and tip sheets as well as expert-led web chats in both English and French.
Learn more about the Lifespeak mental health and wellness education platform.