Executive Council
Health and Community Services
January 31, 2018

Provincial Government Recognizes Bell Let’s Talk Day

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is recognizing Bell Let’s Talk Day today (Wednesday, January 31). The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns.

This year marks year two of government’s partnership with Bell Let’s Talk to expand mental health services to children and youth through the Strongest Families Institute (SFI) program. SFI is a not-for-profit corporation founded in Nova Scotia that is internationally recognized for its effective evidence-based programs for children, youth and families dealing with mild to moderate mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being. Government has been offering SFI since March 2015 and this year has increased its financial support to $475,000 so more families can benefit from its services.

Reducing stigma associated with mental health challenges and increasing awareness of supports are goals of the Bell Let’s Talk Day, and of the Provincial Government.

Recent mental health and addictions initiates in Newfoundland and Labrador include:

  • Roots of Hope Suicide five-year prevention project for communities on the Burin Peninsula;
  • Therapy Assisted Online which provides increased access to counselling accessible by a computer, tablet or smartphone; and,
  • Doorways Mental Health Walk-in Clinics in all regions.

As outlined in In The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government committed to transform the way mental health and addictions services are delivered. Towards Recovery – The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador has set the path for transforming mental health and addictions care.

After just six months, 51 of 54 recommendations in Towards Recovery have been completed or are in progress, and the action plan is on target for completion of all short-term goals by March 2018.

“It is so important that we continue talking about mental health. Our government has been working to keep that conversation going as we launch innovative and diverse mental health and addictions services across the province. With almost 60 mental health clinics province wide, and new technological advances with online therapy, we are working to reach every person who needs to talk.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Stigma kills, pure and simple. It keeps people from seeking help when they need it. We need to open up our minds and hearts to the concept that mental illness is like any other illness. We need to talk about our experiences, and the services available, so that people know they can seek treatment, and begin a road of recovery.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“Bell Let’s Talk is proud of its support of many mental health initiatives that are helping to improve the lives of those living with mental illness in Newfoundland and Labrador, including our partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Strongest Families Institute. With partnerships like this, and the growing worldwide conversation about mental health, we can further reduce stigma and increase access to the care people struggling with mental illness need.”
Glen LeBlanc
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BCE and Bell Canada and Vice Chair
Bell Aliant

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Learn more

Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/mentalhealth/pdf/mentalhealth_addictions_plan.pdf

Report Card: The First Six Months - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publications/pdf/Progress_Update_Mental_Health_Way_Forward.pdf

Single-Session Walk-in Mental Health and Addictions Service Available Province-Wide - gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/health/0130n01.aspx

Provincial Government Releases Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan Six-Month Update - gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/health/1220n04.aspx

Government Releases Action Plan to Transform Mental Health and Addictions Care - gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/0627n02.aspx

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL and @HCS_GovNL

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier

Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292

Isabelle Boulet
Bell Media Relations

2018 01 31                             10:15 a.m.