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Building the mental health conversation on campus

The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day activities on campus engaged students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Mental health affects us all, and Jan. 31 has become Canada’s most significant day to reflect on the impact mental health matters can have on all Canadians.

  • Queen’s students take part in a flash mob at the Queen’s Centre on Bell Let’s Talk Day.
    Queen’s students perform a dance routine during a flash mob at the Queen’s Centre on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in recognition of Bell Let’s Talk Day. Booths were set up to help promote the day’s events at the university and mental health resources.
  • Athletics and Recreation distributed 600 blue 'Bell Let's Talk' toques to the crowd during Friday's basketball games. (Photo by Jason Scourse)
    Athletics and Recreation distributed 600 blue 'Bell Let's Talk' toques to the crowd during Friday's basketball games. (Photo by Jason Scourse)
  • The Gaels women's basketball team plays Laurentian on Friday, Jan 26
    The Queen's Gaels women's basketball came up with a big win against the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday, Jan. 26 during the annual #BellLetsTalk game. (Photo by Jason Scourse)

Bell Let’s Talk Day was observed on campus on Wednesday with education booths, plenty of social media activity, and a surprise flash mob in the Athletics and Recreation Complex (ARC). This followed the Queen's Gaels hosting special events in support of mental health awareness and Bell Let’s Talk during the women and men’s home basketball games on Friday, Jan. 26.

“Our hope is our message is clear through all of our Bell Let’s Talk Day activities and every day of the year: that support is available for those struggling with mental health challenges, and it is important to reach out for help,” says Ann Tierney, Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We are pleased to see continued high levels of engagement in Bell’s Let’s Talk among our student athletes, and the entire campus community. We encourage everyone to continue these meaningful conversations all year round.”

Last week, it was announced the Bell Let’s Talk campus campaign was expanded to 128 university and college campuses across Canada. Additionally, Heather Stuart, the inaugural Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Chair at Queen’s, participated in a television advertising campaign with Bell to spread five tips to help reduce mental health stigma.

On Monday, Bell and The Rossy Family Foundation announced a joint $1 million donation for the creation of a national standard for post-secondary student mental health to support student success on campuses across Canada. The new standard will establish mental health best practices at Canadian universities, colleges, and institutes to support student mental health and academic success and developed in collaboration with students, staff and faculty. At Queen’s, funding from the Rossy Family Foundation supports embedded counsellors and the Q Success first-year student transition program.                        

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell supports mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view, and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to find out more about the initiative and this year’s national campaign.