Bell Media Brings Mental Health to the Forefront With Feature Programming on Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 28

— January 23, 2014

To tweet this release:

TORONTO and MONTRÉAL (January 23, 2014) – Bell Media marks the fourth annual Bell Let’s Talk Day on Tuesday, Jan. 28 with a full day of programming dedicated to fostering dialogue about mental health and removing the stigma surrounding the illness. Anchored by the primetime, hour-long premiere of ETALK PRESENTS: BELL LET’S TALK at 7 p.m. ET on CTV and CTV Two, Bell Media features more than 80 hours of mental health-themed programming on CTV, CTV Two, BNN, Cinépop, CP24, CTV News Channel, Discovery, E!, M3, MTV, RDS, SPACE, TSN, and, as well as its additional digital, radio, and local TV properties.

National ambassador and Olympic medallist Clara Hughes is one of nine Bell Let’s Talk Day spokespeople who, alongside health experts from across the country, will lead the conversation about mental illness during Bell Media’s slate of special programming. MTV starts things off with the premiere of LIFE CONTINUED: DEFEATING DEPRESSION, a one-hour special that follows two college students who conquered depression. CTV’s Marilyn Denis hosts a special depression-themed episode of THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW. BNN investigates mental health in the workplace and examines mental illness from a business perspective. CTV NATIONAL NEWS chief news anchor Lisa LaFlamme sits down with Governor General David Johnston for a discussion about the importance of increasing mental health awareness in Canada, portions of which will debut on CTV NATIONAL NEWS before the interview airs in its entirety on CTV News Channel and online at TSN’s Michael Landsberg hosts a mental health-themed edition of OFF THE RECORD, and RDS’ L’ANTICHAMBRE talks with Joannie Rochette about her mother's death during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The day’s flagship program, the hour-long primetime special ETALK PRESENTS: BELL LET’S TALK, profiles celebrities and other people who have experienced mental illness, including Serena Ryder, George Chuvalo, and Amy Sky.

In addition, Bell Media’s local CTV stations and radio outlets across Canada will engage their communities in the conversation by examining mental health issues from a local perspective.

“On Bell Let’s Talk Day all our properties are united in a singular goal – to engage Canadians in the discussion about mental health,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “With our slate of special programming and coverage across Bell Media platforms, we hope to keep growing the conversation around mental health and finally end the stigma that surrounds mental illness.” 

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate five cents to mental health initiatives for every text, mobile call, and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image. Throughout the day, various Bell Media properties will provide a running tally on-screen, updating the number of texts, tweets, shares, and long distance calls, illustrating both the growing scope of the campaign and the additional funds Bell will donate to mental health initiatives as a result.

Highlights of Bell Media’s line-up of programming in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day include:

Saturday, January 25

During the first intermission of the Canadiens hockey broadcast on RDS, host Alain Crête chats with Clara Hughes about the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

W5 (CTV Two and CTV GO) – 9 p.m. ET
CTV’s Tom Kennedy investigates the alarming mental health crisis driving some students to suicide on Canadian university campuses. Plus, CTV’s Sandie Rinaldo takes an in-depth look at the service dogs helping Canadian soldiers suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The episode is also available live and on demand on and CTV GO.

Monday, January 27

BNN – Beginning at 7:45 a.m. ET
At 7:45 a.m. ET, Mary Ann Baynton, Director of the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, and Bill Wilkerson, Chairman of Mental Health International, discuss the effect the National Standard for Psychological Safety in the Workplace has had since its introduction last year. Then at 12:40 p.m. ET, Canada’s former finance minister and U.S. Ambassador Michael Wilson, now a vocal advocate of mental health in the workplace since losing his 29-year-old son to suicide, explains why corporate Canada must recognize the socio-economic significance of mental illness.

L’ANTICHAMBRE (RDS) – 9:30 p.m. ET
Canadian figure skater and Olympic bronze medallist Joannie Rochette sits down in-studio for a live interview about the difficulties she has faced in her athletic career, including the death of her mother during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

(also airs Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 1 a.m. ET,  throughout the morning loop from 6 a.m. to noon ET,  and at 6 p.m. ET)
SPORTSCENTRE presents PURPLE HEARTS, a TSN Original feature on Daron Richardson, daughter of former NHL defenceman Luke Richardson, who took her own life at the age of 14. The tragedy shocked the entire city of Ottawa, including Daron's hockey teammates, her best and closest friends. Since Daron's suicide, this remarkable group of young girls has set out on a quest to honour her memory, both with their play on the ice and their activism in the community. Their goal is simply “Do It For Daron” – an initiative that raises awareness of youth mental health.

Bell Let’s Talk Day – Tuesday, January 28

MTV begins the day with the premiere of LIFE CONTINUED: DEFEATING DEPRESSION, a one-hour special that looks at the lives of two college students who battled their way through mental health struggles and are now on their respective paths to recovery.

CANADA AM (CTV and CTV GO) – Beginning at 6 a.m. ET
Mental Health and the Elderly: Close to half of Canadian seniors living in nursing and retirement homes are suffering from depression. And the highest age group at risk for suicide include men between the ages of 85-89. Hosts Beverly Thomson and Marci Ien sit down with clinical psychologist and Western University Professor Dr. Marnin Heisel, one of Canada’s leading experts on mental health and the elderly, along with Evelyn Burns-Weinrub, an 80-year-old woman who tried to take her own life two years ago but now volunteers to help other seniors, and Kirsten Mueller, a social worker whose elderly father killed her mother and then himself. Breaking Through the Stigma: Clara Hughes and OFF THE RECORD host Michael Landsberg join a panel that includes two young people who have struggled with mental health issues, to talk about how to break down the barriers and find the right treatment. The episode is also available live on and CTV GO.

BNN – Beginning at 7:45 a.m. ET
BNN marks Bell Let’s Talk Day with a day of interviews examining mental health from a business perspective. Beginning at 7:45 a.m. ET, Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, joins BNN for a look at the economic impact of mental health in the workplace. At 10:40 a.m. ET, former Liberal MP Bob Rae discusses his personal battle with depression and why Canada needs a national strategy on suicide prevention. Sandra Rotman, founder of Rise Asset Development, which helps individuals living with mental health and addiction challenges purse their entrepreneurial passions, explains why she’s making mental health her business at 12:40 p.m. ET. Then at 3:10 p.m. ET, mental health advocate Mark Henick, whose struggle with suicide and depression led to a successful career as a case manager for the Canadian Mental Health Association, shares his inspirational story. Clara Hughes talks about her battle with depression at 4:15 p.m. ET, and at 5 p.m. ET, philanthropist Margaret McCain discusses the need for mental health funding and why she committed $10 million to launch the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

CP24 – Beginning at 9 a.m. ET
CP24’s coverage continues throughout the day with a variety of guests discussing their connections to mental health awareness. Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let’s Talk stops by at 9 a.m. ET to discuss this year’s campaign. Then at 10 a.m. ET, former Liberal MP Bob Rae shares details about his personal battle with mental illness. Dr. Katy Kamkar, from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, offers tips for coping with stress and anxiety at 10:30 a.m. ET. At 11:30 a.m. ET, Wounded Warriors’ Scott Maxwell and Philip Ralph provide insight into the mental health issues faced by military personnel. Clara Hughes stops by at 12:20 p.m. ET to discuss Bell Let’s Talk Day and the stigma surrounding mental illness. Retired Colonel Pat Strogran talks about his efforts to increase mental health support for veterans at 12:45 p.m. ET and a Kids Help Phone Counsellor outlines the challenges faced by youths at 1:30 p.m. ET. Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, discusses the importance of awareness and stigma-reducing initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk Day at 2:30 p.m. ET. At 3:30 p.m. ET, Victoria Miller, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health client, shares her story as affirmation that recovery from mental illness is possible, and former Kids Help Phone caller Stephanie Muskat relates her experiences at 4:30 p.m. ET.

CTV NEWS CHANNEL – Beginning at 9:10 a.m. ET
CTV News Channel’s extensive coverage begins at 9:10 a.m. ET with guest Seamus O’Regan, Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson, discussing the program’s initiatives. At 11 a.m. ET, Karen Aujla, diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teen, provides a first-person account of mental illness and describes the ongoing taboo of disclosure in the South Asian community. Clara Hughes shares details about her struggle with mental health issues at 12:10 p.m. ET and at 1 p.m. ET, Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of Canada’s Mental Health Commission, speaks about Canada’s efforts to develop a cohesive national approach to helping citizens affected by mental illness. At 2 p.m. ET, Arthur Gallant describes his experience growing up with a parent suffering from mental illness. Clara Hughes returns at 4:30 p.m. to offer personal reflections on mental health.On POWER PLAY at 5 p.m. ET, Federal Minister of Health Rona Ambrose discusses federal initiatives regarding mental health and Edmonton MP Mike Lake shares details about the mental health challenges faced by his son. Seamus O’Regan returns at 6 p.m. ET to discuss Bell Let’s Talk initiatives, and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ian Manion offers insight into youth depression and suicide at 7 p.m. ET.

On this special edition of THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, Marilyn spends the full hour examining depression, one of the most common yet misunderstood illnesses in Canada. Dr. Scott Gledhill explains how depression affects the body and outlines medication options. Family therapist Joe Rich talks about the warning signs of depression and the importance of getting help for those in need. The episode is also available live and on demand on and CTV GO.

DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS, AND ME (CTV Two and CTV GO) – Noon ET(also airs at 10:30 p.m. ET on TSN2)
CTV Two airs an encore presentation of TSN personality Michael Landsberg’s Canadian Screen Award-nominated documentary about sports and depression. The special is also available live and on demand on and CTV GO.

E! – Beginning at Noon ET
In one-minute segments airing throughout the day, E! chats with Clara Hughes about the importance of mental health awareness and how Canadians can keep the conversation going.

M3 – Beginning at Noon ET
In one-minute segments airing throughout Bell Let’s Talk Day, M3 Host Matt Wells and Clara Hughes discuss her dedication and journey to making long-term changes in the field of mental health awareness.

THE SOCIAL (CTV and CTV GO) – 1 p.m. ET
Clara Hughes joins the ladies as the fifth-chair guest to chat about Bell Let’s Talk Day and its mental health initiatives. Then guest Kyla Fox, founder of The Kyla Fox Therapy Centre, discusses body image and offers tips for learning to love yourself. The episode is also available live and on demand on and CTV GO.

(also airs at 11:30 p.m. ET on TSN2)
An encore presentation of the emotional documentary produced in support of last year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day. Gemini Award-winning TSN field producer Mike Farrell sits down with his best friend’s family to talk about the loss of their son and brother to suicide, and how sport helped them cope and inspire change in their community. The special is also available live and on demand on and CTV GO.

Matthieu Proulx, former safety with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, discusses life after sport, the struggles athletes face when forced into early retirement, and the often-difficult transition from team life to a solo existence.

Long-time mental health advocate Michael Landsberg hosts a special edition of his popular talk show. The program will include a tribute to canoeist and three-time Olympian John Wood, who took his own life in January 2013 after a battle with depression. Landsberg will be joined by two of Wood’s children, Alan and Jennifer, who will speak publicly for the first time since John died. OFF THE RECORD also features PGA Canada professional golfer Andrew Jensen, who has survived multiple suicide attempts and will speak candidly about what drove him to the point of suicide.

LE 5 À 7 (RDS) – 5 p.m. ET
Former hockey player André Roy discusses bullying in hockey and the psychological consequences it brings.

Clara Hughes joins the team in-studio to share her personal experiences with mental health issues.

See description above.

(also airs Saturday, Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. ET on CTV and CTV GO, and 1 p.m. ET on CTV Two and CTV GO)
This hour-long special presentation profiles celebrities and others who have struggled with mental illness. Hosted by Ben Mulroney and Tanya Kim, the program features interviews with musician Serena Ryder about her battle with depression, singer-songwriter Amy Sky on her struggle with post-partum depression, and retired Canadian heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo, who lost a son and wife to suicide as well as Canadian champion rower Silken Laumann, TSN’s Michael Landsberg, and Glass Tiger’s Sam Reid, who is raising awareness about PTSD. The program also examines how the series DEGRASSI has expertly tackled issues of youth and mental illness throughout many of its storylines, and profiles the very personal struggles faced by singer Demi Lovato, actresses Mariel Hemingway and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and philanthropist Margaret Trudeau. The special is also available live and on demand on and CTV GO.

DAILY PLANET (Discovery) – 7 p.m. ET
Discovery marks Bell Let’s Talk Day with two new segments on its flagship series DAILY PLANET with co-hosts Dan Riskin and Ziya Tong that delve into the newest science breakthroughs in mental health. First, a segment on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – a debilitating problem for millions of people. Treatments can take on many forms, but none as high-tech as the CyberPsychology Lab at the University of Quebec in Gatineau. In a six-wall immersive room called Pysche, Dr. Stephane Bouchard makes use of the world’s first and only virtual reality chamber that is entirely dedicated to mental health. Discover how this virtual reality experience can convince the limbic system in the brain that there’s really no threat. Then, viewers will meet the researchers at CAMH who have built a virtual city video game to study motivation in the minds of schizophrenics. First, researchers compare people with the disease and without, playing a video game – a walk through a virtual city – with either a joystick or kinect sensors. Then researchers take this virtual world into an MRI machine to study patients’ brains as they play. If they can see what parts of the brain aren’t working as well or are structurally different, then they can better treat the disease.

NHL ON TSN – 7 p.m. ET
James Duthie chats with Clara Hughes about mental health and Clara’s Big Ride during the first intermission of NHL ON TSN: Tampa Bay @Toronto.

HOCKEY 360 (RDS) – 7 p.m. ET
Stéphane Leroux reports on a Victoriaville Tigres player who overcame the challenges related to his OCD to make his mark in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and be drafted by the Detroit Red Wings.

Cinépop airs two mental health-themed movies: MA VIE EN CINÉMA SCOPE at 7:30 p.m. ET and UN HOMME D’EXCEPTION (A BEAUTIFUL MIND) at 9:30 p.m. ET.

AFTER DEGRASSI speaks with DEGRASSI cast members Munro Chambers and Melinda Shankar about how mental illness has impacted their lives.

DIGITAL will feature a variety of mental health-related content in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day. In a series of videos, psychiatrist Ariel Dalfen examines the truth about seasonal affective disorder, explains why depression can be contagious, and offers guidance on how to help a friend in need. Contributor Neil Hedley reveals five reasons not to be afraid of talking to a therapist. And resident music writer Patrick Pentland (Sloan), who has experienced mental illness first-hand, shares his advice on how to cope with panic attacks and anxiety.

At, visitors are encouraged to submit a photo of the person they turn to for support. The site will also include first-hand accounts from those battling mental health issues and their families, as well as a full list of resource information for those seeking help.

For two weeks beginning Jan. 26, viewers will have access to several related specials on and CTV GO, including W5; DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS, AND ME; LET’S TALK: A MARILYN DENIS SPECIAL; SPEAK OUT ON SUICIDE; and TALK TO ME: THE STORY OF JAMES PATRICK PEEK.

About the Bell Let’s Talk Mental Health Initiative

Dedicated to promoting Canadian mental health, Bell Let's Talk is built around four action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. To date, Bell has already committed $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health based on its original $50 million commitment and participation in Bell Let’s Talk Day since 2011. To learn more please visit

About Bell Media

With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran; and is managing shareholder of premium pay-per-view service Viewers Choice Canada. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 107 licensed radio stations in 55 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada’s most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 9,500 advertising faces in Québec, Ontario and British Columbia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites, delivers TV Everywhere with its innovative GO video streaming services, including CTV GO, TMN GO, and Bravo GO, and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit


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For more information, please contact:

Amy Doary, Bell Media, 416.384.2593 or

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