August 17, 2019

Conestoga College will join more than 200 universities and colleges across Canada hosting events for the Bell Let’s Talk Campaign on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

“With more 200 universities and colleges part of the campaign this year, it’s clear that post-secondary students in Canada have taken a real leadership role in the mental health conversation,” said Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk.

The Bell Let’s Talk campaign has been encouraging mental health conversation since it began its partnership with post-secondary institutions in 2016 as a student athlete initiative at 11 Atlantic Canada universities. This year it will be reaching a national student population of 1.6 million.

At Conestoga College, Student Success Services, Conestoga Students Inc. and Student Engagement will be running tables in E wing and near the library at the Doon campus. They will encourage students to participate in the Bell Let’s Talk campaign promoting breaking the stigma of mental health issues and encouraging them to use the hashtag #Bellletstalk on social media.

Students will also be encouraged to produce thought bubbles about how they relate to the campaign, about how they can break the stigma, words of encouragement or how they’ve overcome obstacles. The thought bubbles will be posted around the spaces where the campaign events are being held.

“Many people opt to take a photograph with their thought bubble and share the photo over social media using the Bell Let’s Talk hashtag,” said Gina Alderman, communication and events coordinator for Student Success Services. Photo by Colin Burrowes, Spoke News

“Many people opt to take a photograph with their thought bubble and share the photo over social media using the Bell Let’s Talk hashtag,” said Gina Alderman, communication and events coordinator for Student Success Services. “Using the hashtag creates a monetary donation from Bell to support mental health initiatives.”

Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of the following interactions at no extra cost to participants.

  • Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
  • Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
  • Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
  • Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
  • Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/Bell_letstalk
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view

The mental health space located in room 1A107 will be hosting some stress-busting activities and giving out pizza to students on a first-come first-served basis.

“This space is open for our student community to come and decompress to help reduce anxiety,” Alderman said. “It also has a peer support worker available for drop in sessions to discuss any issues they may have.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day interactions, since the first event in 2011, stand at 867,449,649 and are expected to exceed 1 billion on Jan. 30. Bell’s funding commitment for mental health, including the company’s donations based on Bell Let’s Talk engagement and its original $50-million donation to launch the initiative, is now $93,423,628.80 and expected to surpass $100 million on Jan. 30.

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