MONTRÉAL, October 7, 2014 – Bell Let’s Talk today announced contributions totalling $1 million to support student mental health programs at McGill University and Université de Montréal.
The Bell Let’s Talk funding of $500,000 for each university will help expand existing mental health programs and develop additional services that will be accessible to more students.
“These mental health support programs at Université de Montréal and McGill will help students deal with difficult situations in a way that does not interfere with their studies,” said Martine Turcotte, Vice Chair, Québec, for Bell. “Most people affected by mental health issues live in silence for fear of being judged or rejected because of the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. Improving access to mental health care and talking openly about the need for these services are priorities for Bell Let’s Talk.”
At the Université de Montréal, the donation will be used to implement a number of new initiatives to support students experiencing stressful situations or suffering from anxiety or a mood disorder. For example, new group sessions will focus on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for greater emotional stability. A proven and effective approach, it will be offered at UdeM’s Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique to all campus students, including those at HEC Montréal and the École Polytechnique.
“Student life is not easy. It is often accompanied by periods of high stress and worry, at which time it is important to seek help,” explains Dr. Guy Breton, Rector at the Université de Montréal. “The support of Bell Let’s Talk enables us to provide more mental health services to our students.”
At McGill, the donation will help fund the McGill Wellness Portal, a comprehensive self-screening tool focused on the most common mental health issues faced by McGill’s students: depression, anxiety, eating disorders and alcohol misuse. Students will answer questions that cover the nature and severity of their concerns, reflecting a clinically rigorous evaluative approach developed from proven mental health evaluation tools. Based on the individual student’s responses, the tool will provide a recommendation of further intervention where warranted, including detailed information about how to contact McGill Mental Health and Counseling caregivers.
“Thanks to Bell Let’s Talk, our Mental Health Team has created an innovative website featuring an online screening tool that enables students, along with family members and friends, to gain a better understanding of the state of their mental health, and help determine whether they need to seek treatment,” says Stuart Cobbett, Chairman of McGill’s Board of Governors.
“Organizing prevention and mental health awareness activities aimed at young people, who are our future, represents a truly worthy cause,” said Monique Vallée, Executive Committee member in charge of social and community development and homelessness at the Ville de Montréal. “These Bell’s Let’s Talk donations will support additional activities of this type for the benefit of students attending Montréal’s two largest universities.”
The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns – like Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk and the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day – and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. Since its launch in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has committed more than $68.5 million to Canadian mental health programs in every region of Canada. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with leading TV, Internet, wireless, home phone and business communications solutions. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. Bell is wholly-owned by Montréal’s BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca.
Deeply rooted in Montréal and dedicated to its international mission, the Université de Montréal is one of the top universities in the French-speaking world. Founded in 1878, the Université de Montréal today has 16 faculties, and together with its two affiliated schools, HEC Montréal and the École Polytechnique, is the leading higher education and research hub in Québec and one of the biggest in North America. It brings together 2,500 professors and researchers, and welcomes over 65,000 students. For more information, please visit Umontreal.ca.
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 11 professional schools, 300 programs of study and some 39,000 students, including more than 9,300 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 8,200 international students making up 21 per cent of the student body. Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 40 per cent whose first language is French or who speak it fluently.
October 7, 2014