2014

Bell Let's Talk and True Patriot Love launch military family mental health fund

  • $1 million fund for community-based mental health support
  • Grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to deliver programs at Military Family Resource Centres across Canada
  • Applications for 2013 funding accepted from April 30 through June 28, 2013
  • Bell continues as presenting sponsor of the True Patriot Love Tribute Dinner through 2014

OTTAWA, April 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Canada and the True Patriot Love Foundation today announced the launch of the Bell True Patriot Love Fund, a $1 million program to support community mental health initiatives for Canadian military families.

"I salute the collaboration and support of Bell and True Patriot Love in bringing mental health and mental illness to the attention of Canadians," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The Canadian Armed Forces are proud participants in Bell Let's Talk Day and share in the goal of ending the stigma surrounding mental illness."

Starting this year and through 2016, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund will distribute $250,000 annually in grants of $5,000 to $25,000. It will support programs delivered through Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) that focus on improving access to mental health care on Canadian Forces Bases across the country. Bell and True Patriot Love are sharing the cost of the $1 million program equally.

"Bell Let's Talk is proud to partner with True Patriot Love in supporting members of the Canadian military and their families with this specialized program," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "We all acknowledge the unique pressures and demands faced by military families, and the Fund will help ensure access to mental health support for those who need it, as close to home as possible."

"True Patriot Love is grateful for the leading role Bell has played in working to establish a funding mechanism to support mental health care for the Canadian Armed Forces community," said Bronwen Evans, Co-Founder and Managing Director of True Patriot Love. "Together we are committed to seeing positive change for those Canadians who dedicate so much of their lives to their country."

The call for funding applications runs from today, April 30, through to June 28, 2013, and is open to all MFRCs across Canada working in partnership with local mental health groups. The True Patriot Love Foundation will manage and administer all aspects of the Fund.

"We have seen the real difference True Patriot Love is making in the lives of Canadian servicemen and women who have struggled as a result of their service to the country," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "We're very pleased to apply our experience in working with grassroots community groups through the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund to bring enhanced mental health support to military families in locations across the nation in partnership with True Patriot Love."

Bell and True Patriot Love will focus the fund on high-impact, community-level programming that meets the unique needs of each individual military base. The most effective way to achieve this is through MFRCs, which serve as a well-established focus through which community-based services and social supports can be provided. Many Canadian military families live on military bases in smaller, often remote communities.

The Bell Let's Talk initiative was launched in 2010 to drive action in mental health based on 4 pillars: Anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. To learn more about the largest-ever corporate commitment to Canadian mental health, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

At least 1 in 5 Canadians will struggle with a mental illness in their lifetimes - and 2 out of 3 won't seek the help they need because of the stigma surrounding the disease. Mental illness impacts everyone in some way, and it's a health issue that costs the Canadian economy over $51 billion every year. More than 500,000 people miss work each day because of a mental illness, and the impact in lost labour-market participation alone was an estimated $20.7 billion in 2012. With its initial $50-million commitment and three successful Bell Let's Talk Days since 2011, Bell has now committed a total of $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health.

About True Patriot Love:
True Patriot Love honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Forces, Veterans and their families by:

  • Stepping in where government is unable to fund programs that support their physical, mental and social wellbeing no matter where they are posted in Canada or abroad
  • Promoting their special skills and capabilities resulting from their unique conditions of service
  • Being a channel for everyday Canadians, corporations and philanthropists to express their appreciation and patriotism

Over the past three years, True Patriot Love was honoured to have raised over $14 million to fund a variety of military programs, charities and causes, when and where it is needed most. Our three key areas of support are Family Health and Support, Physical Health and Rehabilitation, and Mental Health and Well-Being.
Please visit www.truepatriotlovefoundation.com for more information.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). To learn more about Bell, please visit Bell.ca.

SOURCE Bell Canada

Image with caption: "The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, George Cope, President and CEO, Bell and BCE and, Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative at the launch of the Bell True Patriot Love Fund in Ottawa on April 30, 2013. (CNW Group/Bell Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130430_C9838_PHOTO_EN_26181.jpg



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