Bell Media marks the sixth annual Bell Let’s Talk Day today, Wednesday, Jan. 27, with more than 80 hours of programming dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging the dialogue about mental health. Anchored by the prime-time premiere of THE PRIME MINISTER @ THE SOCIAL: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV Two, CTV GO, and CTV.ca, special mental health-themed programming will air on CTV, CTV Two, BNN, Bravo, CP24, CTV News Channel, Discovery, E!, Much, RDS, Space, TSN, CraveTV, Much Digital Studios, and TheLoop.ca, as well as additional Bell Media digital, radio, and local TV properties.
“Once again, Bell Media is proud to support Bell Let’s Talk Day with an extensive lineup of original and thought-provoking programming,” said Mary Ann Turcke, President, Bell Media. “Though great strides have been made in reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, we still have a ways to go – which is why we will keep the conversation going until there is no longer a need to do so.”
National spokesperson Clara Hughes is one of nine Bell Let’s Talk Dayspokespeople who, along with mental health experts from across Canada, will be featured on Bell Media’s day of special programming.
The day kicks off on CANADA AM with conversations about a variety of mental health topics. On BNN, planned coverage includes a look at mental health within the business community, while CTV News Channel commemorates the day with several mental health-themed interviews. THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW dedicates an hour to teens and addiction, launching the conversation with an eye-opening discussion with Dr. Oz. A mental health-themed episode of ETALK features celebrities discussing their personal experiences with mental illness, while DAILY PLANET reports on a system that uses technology to help clinicians identify psychological distress. INNERSPACE explores three mental health-related stories, including an examination of how select filmmakers have tackled the issue of mental illness.
TSN and RDS mark Bell Let’s Talk Day with several special reports on how those in the sports world are trying to grow the conversation around mental health. TSN’sSPORTSCENTRE, THAT’S HOCKEY, and Leafs, Senators, and Jets broadcasts air a feature on the legacy of Winnipeg Jets forward Rick Rypien, whose suicide inspired the team’s Assistant GM Craig Heisinger to create a mental health-focused curriculum for Winnipeg elementary schools. On RDS, HOCKEY 360 reports on the L.A. Kings’ hiring of former NHL player Brantt Myhres as an in-house support system for team members, and L’ANTICHAMBRE shares details about an alternative hockey league in Haut-Richelieu, comprised of 27 autistic young hockey players and 10 parent-coaches.
On the day’s flagship program, THE PRIME MINISTER @ THE SOCIAL: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adds his voice to the conversation as he shares some of his personal experiences and answers questions from the studio audience.
The conversation continues online, with a variety of Bell Let’s Talk content available on Bell Media’s digital properties. CraveTV streams a multitude of related titles, including last year’s flagship program, the one-hour documentary CLARA’S BIG RIDE.
Much Digital Studios creators are producing a variety of mental health-related videos, while TheLoop.ca has an assortment of articles on topics such as how to curb workplace anxiety, foods that boost your mind, post-partum depression, and more.
Bell Media’s radio coverage runs throughout the day and includes interviews with a variety of Bell Let’s Talk spokespeople and ambassadors as well as local health experts and those whose lives have been touched by mental illness. In Toronto, Virgin Radio 99.9 and Newstalk 1010 feature interviews with Olympic medalist Clara Hughes and TSN host Michael Landsberg as well as music producer Bob Ezrin and MP Seamus O’Regan. TSN 1040 in Vancouver speaks with CFL veteran Shea Emery, while on TSN 1200 in Ottawa, Michael Landsberg and golfer Andrew Jensen discuss their battles with depression. In Montréal, ÉNERGIE, Rouge fm, and Boom FM speak with former CFL player Étienne Boulay and actor Marie-Soleil Dion.
Bell Media’s local CTV stations and additional radio outlets across Canada will also engage their communities in the conversation by examining mental health issues from a local perspective.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, every text message, wireless, and long distance call made by Bell customers, every tweet using #Bell Let’s Talk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents to support Canadian mental health programs. Over the first five Bell Let’s Talk Days, Bell has committed a total of $73,623,413.80 to support mental health initiatives across the country.
Bell’s donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let’s Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply.
Highlights of Bell Media’s Bell Let’s Talk Day programming includes:
Bell Let’s Talk Day – Wednesday, Jan. 27
CANADA AM (CTV and CTV GO) – 6 a.m. ET
Dedicating the morning to Bell Let’s Talk Day, CANADA AM is set to highlight a variety of mental health topics. Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative, discusses the campaign and how funding is supporting the mental health movement in every region of Canada, while Dr. David Goldbloom, Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), speaks to the stigma still surrounding mental health care in different communities, and why he’s made it his mission to improve access to proper support. The morning’s coverage also includes an interview with comedian and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Mary Walsh, a look at the signs of anxiety disorder with Dr. Donna Ferguson, plus first-hand myth-busting information from people who have undergone treatment for different mental health conditions at CAMH.
SPORTSCENTRE (TSN) – Morning loop beginning at 6 a.m. ET
(also airs on the 6 p.m. edition)
Feature on the legacy of Rick Rypien, and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson and TSN host Michael Landsberg goes one-on-one with Mike Babcock – see description above.
BNN – Beginning at 7:45 a.m. ET
BNN’s coverage runs throughout the day and includes an interview with comedian Mary Walsh as well as a 30-minute special about mental health within the business community.
CTV News Channel – Beginning at 9 a.m. ET
CTV News Channel commemorates the day with several mental health-themed interviews. Bell Let’s Talk Chair Mary Deacon and Olympic champion Clara Hughes discuss the response to Bell Let’s Talk Day. Singer-songwriter Séan McCann shares his experience with addition and abuse, and Chief of Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance, speaks with Marcia MacMillan about his office is doing to help soldiers experiencing PTSD. Kendra Fisher describes how mental illness forced her to leave the Team Canada hockey program. Dr. David Goldbloom, Senior Medical Advisor at CAMH, explains mental first aid and how to help people in crisis. And Dr. Peggy Richter, Associate Scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, advises how to recognize hoarding, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder.
CP24 – Beginning at 9:40 a.m. ET
CP24 has interviews scheduled throughout the day covering a variety of mental health topics. Mary Deacon discusses the Bell Let’s Talk campaign and Kids Help Phone counsellor Caitlin Parsons reveals the most common call topics. Wounded Warriors’ Scott Maxwell talks about the mental health issues faced by soldiers while Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack provides insight into how officers are trained to deal with mental health issues. CFL veteran Shea Emry discusses men’s emotional well-being and mental health advocate Harmony Brown shares her experience following the suicides of her father and brother.
THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW (CTV, CTV Two, and CTV GO) – 10 a.m. ET
THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW dedicates a full hour to Bell Let’s Talk Day with a special program exploring teenage substance abuse. First, Dr. Oz joins Marilyn to discuss how parents can get their kids to open up about drug and alcohol addiction. Then, family therapist Joe Rich addresses how parents can spot addictive behaviour in their teens and how to get them the help they need to recover.
E! and Much – Beginning at 2 p.m. ET
In segments airing throughout the day, Chloe Wilde and Tyrone Edwards talk to Clara Hughes and music producer Bob Ezrin about the Bell Let’s Talk initiative.
SPORTS 30 MAGAZINE (RDS2 and RDS INFO) – 4 p.m. ET
Jean-Luc Legendre reports on former Montréal Expos player Ellis Valentine, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who now counsels troubled youth and their families.
LE 5 À 7 (RDS) – 5 p.m. ET
Geneviève Langlois chats with former Olympic skier Mélanie Turgeon about her battle with depression.
ETALK PRESENTS: BELL LET’S TALK 2016 (CTV and CTV GO) – 5:30 p.m. ET
Canada’s #1 daily entertainment news show interviews vocal quartet The Tenors, music producer Bob Ezrin, comedian Howie Mandel, and more on the topic of mental health. The program also includes a profile on three military veterans with PTSD and a fashion segment featuring a clothing line designed by two Fredericton teens that aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
INNERSPACE (Space) – 6 p.m. ET
The episode features four mental health-related stories. The team examines the indie feature Rocks in my Pockets, which explores how mental illness affects a family, in a segment that also includes an interview with filmmaker Signe Baumane. They take a look at some of the films featured at the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival and speak with the Festival’s Director/Founder Lisa Brown and Program Director Geoff Pevere. They investigate how comic books are promoting mental health awareness, chatting with writer Sara Fin about her comic Asylum Squad. And they speak with music producer Bob Ezrin about how mental illness has touched his life.
HOCKEY 360 (RDS) – 6:30 p.m. ET
Alexandre Tourigny reports on the L.A. Kings’ hiring of former NHL player Brantt Myhres as Player Assistance Director, following a tumultuous year that saw three players arrested for drug possession and domestic violence. Myhres, a recovering addict once banned by the league for multiple failed drug tests, now serves as an in-house support system to team members.
DAILY PLANET (Discovery) – 7 p.m. ET
DAILY PLANET features a report on Carnegie Mellon’s MultiSense, a system that uses multimodal algorithms to help clinicians assess psychological distress. Outfitted with a simple webcam, the technology can automatically measure a patient’s facial expressions, gaze directions, and voice quality. This data is then provided to doctors, who can use it as a more objective way to identify depression and anxiety.
THAT’S HOCKEY (TSN ) – 7 p.m. ET
Feature on the legacy of Rick Rypien – see description above.
THE PRIME MINISTER @ THE SOCIAL: A BELL LET’S TALK DAY SPECIAL (CTV, CTV Two, CTV GO, and CTV.ca) – 7 p.m. ET
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with co-hosts Melissa Grelo, Lainey Lui, and Traci Melchor, and guest co-host Wendy Crewson (SAVING HOPE), for a candid discussion about a variety of mental health topics and policy. Prime Minister Trudeau also shares his personal experiences with mental illness and answers questions from the studio audience.
DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS, AND ME (TSN) – 7:30 p.m. ET
An encore presentation of TSN host and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Michael Landsberg’s Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary about sports and depression.
TABLE D’HÔTE (RDS) – 7:30 p.m. ET
In this special mental health-themed episode, guests share their experience with mental illness. Featuring former NHL player Claude Lapointe, former CFL player Étienne Boulay, former Olympic skier Melanie Turgeon, and former Olympic volleyball player Guylaine Dumont.
TALK TO ME: THE STORY OF JAMES PATRICK PEEK (TSN) – 8:30 p.m. ET
An encore presentation of the emotional documentary produced in support of the 2013 Bell Let’s Talk Day about the loss of a son and brother to suicide, and how sport helped the Peek family cope and inspire change in their community.
L’ANTICHAMBRE (RDS) – 8:30 p.m. ET
Yanick Lévesque reports on an alternative hockey league in Haut-Richelieu, comprised of 27 autistic young hockey players and 10 parent-coaches.
To commemorate Bell Let’s Talk Day, CraveTV gives CLARA’S BIG RIDE, the original one-hour documentary chronicling Clara Hughes’ epic 110-day cycling journey through 105 communities across Canada, a featured spot in its Documentary collection. Other mental health-related titles streaming on the service include the documentary DIAGNOSIS BIPOLAR: FIVE FAMILIES SEARCH FOR ANSWERS, which follows the lives of families living with pediatric bipolar mood disorder; the documentary BOY INTERRUPTED, a heartbreaking profile of a family torn apart by a child’s suicide; UNITED STATES OF TARA, a comedy-drama series following the life of a suburban housewife whose dissociative identity disorder causes her to shift between multiple identities without warning; and TEMPLE GRANDIN, a biopic about an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in humane livestock handling.
Much Digital Studios’ slate of creators share the Bell Let’s Talk Day message through new YouTube video content as well as on their various social platforms.
TheLoop.ca features a variety of content in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day, ranging from the practical – hacks to help curb your workplace anxiety, foods that boost your mood – to the inspirational – a son reflects on “my mom, the alcoholic,” true confessions of post-partum depression from moms who lived through it, and the remarkable story of a 21-year-old from Fredericton whose little T-shirt company is making a big difference in how the world views mental illness.
Space.ca includes a profile on Superhero Therapy, a practice used to treat a variety of disorders by incorporating examples of superheroes to allow patients to better understand what they are experiencing. An article outlining the benefits of being a geek will also be featured.
Much.com and MTV.ca feature an interview with singer Serena Ryder about her battle with depression as well as articles detailing the five ways to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and celebrities who publicly support the cause.
TSN.ca is home to the network’s Bell Let’s Talk Day content, including on-demand videos of TSN’s feature on the legacy of Rick Rypien (see description above), plus videos of James Duthie and Michael Landsberg’s interviews with Toronto Maple Leafs head coach and Bell Let’s Talk Day ambassador Mike Babcock. As well, TSN’s Off The Record page, continues as a year-round hub for Landsberg’s #SickNotWeak campaign and his powerful articles on mental health and Bell Let’s Talk Day.
A profile on Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Howie Mandel is available onTheComedyNetwork.ca as well as a blog post titled “Comedy Talks About Mental Health,” which cites podcasts, books, and stand-up performances that feature comedians offering their thoughts on mental health.
CTVNews.ca will have a dedicated page on resources available across the country for people who are looking for help, along with links to the official Bell Let’s Talkcampaign.
Super Écran GO features a variety of mental health-related movies, including Le Prince des marées (The Prince of Tides), Tromper Le Silence (Silence Lies), andLa Chanson De l’éléphant (Elephant Song).
|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. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.