Bell Let's Talk joins Montréal to support expanded mental health services

Oct 5, 2015

  • Bell Let's Talk Community Fund contributes $125,000 to 9 community groups
  • City of Montréal renews $125,000 in funding to Maison du Père


MONTRÉAL, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Let's Talk today announced grants totalling $125,000 to help nine mental health organizations expand their services, increasing access to care for Montréalers living with mental health problems.

"We are very pleased to support nine mental health organizations providing critical services for those struggling with mental illness in Montréal," said Pierre Rodrigue, Vice President, Industry Relations at Bell. "With support from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, Montréalers will see better access to care, making a real difference in the lives of people living with mental illness and their loved ones."

The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is donating a total of $125,000 to the Centre St-Pierre, Entraide Saint-Michel, Fondation Marie-Vincent, Friendship Volunteer Association, L'Arrêt-Source, Maison l'Éclaircie de Montréal, Maison du Père, Nazareth House, and Portage. In addition, the City of Montréal is renewing its subsidy of $125,000 to Maison du Père.

"Mental illness is a hard fact of life for many Montréalers, and affect the homeless population in particular, so we are happy to renew our support for Maison du Père for another year," said Monique Vallée, Montréal city councillor and executive committee member responsible for social and community development and homelessness. "The City of Montréal thanks the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund for its exemplary contribution to the mental health of our community. And we congratulate Bell for renewing Bell Let's Talk for another 5 years and its new funding commitment of at least $100 million across the country."

"On behalf of Maison du Père and the 8 other recipient organizations, thank you to Bell Let's Talk for their direct support of Montréalers dealing with mental health issues and their families," said France Desjardins, Executive Director, Maison du Père. "All of our organizations recognize the immense need for mental health care and services in Montréal, so we are very happy that Bell is extending its mental health initiative for another 5 years. Maison du Père also thanks the City of Montréal for its continued support for mental health services for the homeless population."

About Bell Let's Talk
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 Bell Let's Talk Day, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. On September 22, 2015, Bell announced the extension of Bell Let's Talk for a further 5 years and an increase in total funding commitment for the country's mental health to at least $100 million. For more information, please visit

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company, with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit


The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is supporting 9 organizations in Montréal

Centre St-Pierre
Centre St-Pierre's counselling program
The project will increase the availability of psychotherapy services to people who do not have the means to get help in the private sector and who are not able to obtain services through the public network. The goal is to give more people access to psychotherapy at rates adapted to their financial situation, so they can unburden themselves, with professional help. With support from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, Centre St-Pierre can increase its service offer by 10-15% over the next year.

Nazareth House
Bees, Honey and Hope
In 2012, thanks to support from the city of Montréal and Éco-Quartier Peter-McGill, Nazareth House created gardens and green spaces to help its residents reduce stress, enjoy the benefits of sustainable gardening, increase their sense of autonomy and self-esteem, learn to work as a team and get involved in the community. With support from the Bell Let's Talk's Community Fund, Nazareth House was able to build on that success and launch a new initiative, Bees, Honey and Hope, enhancing the mental health services residents currently receive using working with nature as therapy.

Entraide Saint-Michel
Explore ta communication
Thanks to the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant, the Explore ta communication (explore your communication skills) project will soon be a reality at Entraide Saint-Michel, a mental health day centre. Recognizing that difficulties with daily interactions are often the root cause of conflict and isolation for people living with mental health problems, the project will creat new activities focused on communication in general – expressing oneself, interacting, formulating requests and assessing one's own communication needs – in different social spheres..

Fondation Marie-Vincent
Specialized therapy for children aged 12 and under who are victims of sexual abuse
In 2005, Fondation Marie-Vincent created the Centre d'expertise Marie-Vincent, which has been making a real difference in the lives of children who are victims of sexual abuse ever since. The Centre brings together the police, medical, psychosocial and sociojudicial services these children need under one roof. It also offers training based on scientific expertise and best practices for professionals who work with young victims. The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant will support hiring a professional who will offer direct services for children, facilitating access to specialized services for child victims of sexual abuse.

Friendship Volunteer Association
Community integration is what I want… The help of an educator is what I need!Accomplishing certain tasks can sometimes be difficult for people living with mental illness. Daily insecurity and anxiety can often prevent them from moving forward at the pace they would like. But with personalized help, regular attendance and intensive educational interventions, not only can they develop the functional skills they need, but they can also improve their self-esteem and acquire abilities that will facilitate their integration into society. With support from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, cooking and fitness workshops as well as information sessions will be offered.

Skills development program
L'Arrêt-Source is a shelter that offers long-term support to young women in need aged 18 to 30. The shelter's aim is to help the 19 women resident at the shelter as well as the women who visit us each year post-shelter with their reintegration. The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant will help expand its skills development program. Adapted to each young woman, this program features weekly group meetings and to help them cope with their mental health problems, as well as develop their physical, psychological, affective and relationship skills.

Maison L'Éclaircie de Montréal
Cooking workshop
Maison L'Éclaircie de Montréal is an alternative community organization that houses individuals with mental health problems. The purpose of this project is to foster independent living and teach participants cooking skills. The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant will support themed workshops where participants will learn the basics of nutrition, diet and health, and discover how enjoyable preparing a meal can be. In addition to encouraging socialization, these workshops will give participants the opportunity to complete different recipes and learn how to select and prepare foods. The program will also have a component emphasizing how healthy eating can help people feel good about themselves.

Maison du Père
A bridge between physical and mental health care and marginalized people
To meet the specific needs of its clientele, Maison du Père has a team of 10 employees, including 4 nurses, that offers clinical services and forms a bridge between the network and marginalized people. Thanks to the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant, the clinical team will facilitate access to health services for those who find it difficult to adhere to social norms and who are often doubly stigmatized because of their homelessness and mental health struggles. The clinical team oversees the physical and mental health examinations of all the men in the social reintegration program. This project earned an honourable mention at the Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux's awards of excellence.

Portage's MICA (Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers) Program
For the past 20 years, Portage has offered a residential program for people suffering from both mental illness (primarily schizophrenia) and substance abuse, treating the two disorders as well as their interaction. To date, Portage's MICA program has assisted more than 700 individuals, giving them the opportunity to live a sober life filled with dignity, self-esteem and success. The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant will allow Portage to expand the program to eventually help more men and women.


Media inquiries:

Marie-Eve Francoeur
Bell Media Relations
514 391-5263

Andrée-Anne Toussaint
Press Attaché, Office of the Mayor and Executive Committee
Ville de Montréal

Julie Papin
L'Arrêt-Source and spokesperson for the nine recipient organizations
514 658-2335 or 514 248-2308

SOURCE Bell Canada