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Call to Action # 18: Health (18-24)

Student mental health programs receive another $1M in Bell Let’s Talk funding

January 23, 2024
  • $1 million in grants awarded to 11 Canadian colleges, universities and CEGEPs to support mental health initiatives
  • 200 Canadian schools participating in the Bell Let’s Talk Campus Campaign leading up to Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 24

NationTalk: MONTRÉAL, – Bell today announced that $1 million in grants from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund have been awarded to 11 Canadian colleges, universities and CEGEPs to support initiatives that align with the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students (the Standard) or the Québec Action Plan on Student Mental Health for Higher Education  (Québec Action Plan).

According to Mental Health Research Canada, more than 1 in 2 Canadians who said they needed mental health support are not getting the help they need. The statistics are alarming:

  • More than 200 Canadians will attempt suicide everyday; twelve will die
  • The number of opioid overdose deaths in Canada is 21 per day
  • 1 in 8 people have struggled with severe anxiety

For more information about these statistics visit

“I am very impressed at the calibre of the mental health support programs so many Canadian schools’ staff, faculty and student bodies have implemented since 2021 with support from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund. Not only do these programs improve access to mental health support, they foster an inclusive on-campus culture making it easier for students to get the help they need during their post-secondary education.”

–    Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk

“With the financial support of the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund, our Support and Enhance project to expand the reach of mental health care is becoming a reality. This project will improve operational efficiency at both the Psychology Health Centre and the Students Peer Support Centre with additional resources to expand operations from the Moncton campus to the Edmundston and Shippagan campuses over the next two years. The creation of psycho-educational video capsules will also enable the sharing of mental health resources to students regardless of the campus they attend.”

–      Lisa Poirier, L.Psych., Acting Prime, Health and Psychology Services, Université de Moncton

“This generous grant from Bell Let’s Talk makes it possible for Collège Ahuntsic to coordinate resources to assess the well-being and mental health of its student community. We applaud Bell’s leadership in this important paradigm shift that aligns with the Québec Action Plan. We also plan to collaborate with various institutional partners and share our best practices with all college and university network partners who so desire.”

–       Pascal Gagné, Associate Director, Consulting Services, Student Affairs Department, Collège Ahuntsic

“UWorkItOut UWin is a 6-week supervised exercise intervention program shown to improve the mental and physical health of university students. With the support from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund, we will continue to deliver the personal training and exercise counselling to students seeking support, thus alleviating strain on the campus-counselling centre. The grant will also allow the research team to renovate existing space thereby providing students with a safe, comfortable, and inviting environment to engage in exercise. We would like to thank Bell for the generous contribution that will allow us to provide our Lancer students with an exceptional university experience.”

–    Krista Chandler, PhD, Professor of Kinesiology, The University of Windsor

“With the goal of enhancing student belonging, connection and overall well-being, RRC Polytech will be launching an innovative Peer Support program for students, co-designed by students. The program will see a diverse group of students trained to provide mental health support for their peers. Thanks to the investment from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund, RRC Polytech will be able to get this critical program off the ground and running, so all students can thrive in their educational journeys and lives.”

–    Breanna Sawatzky, Manager of Campus Well-Being, Red River College Polytechnic

To see a complete list of the schools receiving grants and the programs they plan to implement, please click here .

The Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund was launched in 2021 to support Canadian colleges and universities in implementing the Standard, the creation of which Bell, The Rossy Family Foundation and RBC had enabled with a joint $1 million donation in 2018, working in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association. Since then, the Fund has awarded over $6 million in grants to Canadian post-secondary institutions, starting with more than $3 million in initial grants  to over 125 schools in early 2021. These funds helped enhance mental health programs on campuses across the country, firmly establishing the Standard and the Québec Action Plan, and laying the foundation for future initiatives. Going forward, schools looking for future funding are encouraged to apply through the Community Fund , which will begin accepting 2024 applications this week.

“Post secondary institutions are committed to supporting the mental health and well being of their students to achieve student success. Bell Let’s Talk has been proud to support these institutions in their efforts. A special thank you to our student mental health advisory committee for sharing their guidance and advice about the sector and student mental health in our selection of grant recipients.”

–    Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk

Bell Let’s Talk 2024 Campus Campaign

Two hundred Canadian colleges and universities are hosting virtual and in-person mental health engagement events on campus this January 24. This includes a collaboration with food services Chartwells aimed at increasing conversation and action while raising funds to support on-campus mental health programs and services. Chartwells’ partner schools will offer specialty give-back items for purchase with proceeds going to support student mental health on campus. In addition to campus activities, hundreds of student-athletes from sports teams coast to coast are coming together to support mental health at more than 190 varsity and collegiate games throughout January.

To see a complete list of participating colleges, universities and CEGEPs, please click here .

Let’s create real change. Take action on Bell Let’s Talk Day and all year long!

On January 24 and every day throughout the year, we can all take meaningful action to create change. Let’s create real change asks everyone to play a role and provides practical examples of ways to create change in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities. Here are some actions we can all take:

  • Choose a mental health organization to learn about or support
  • Help a friend struggling with their mental health by learning how to support them
  • Ask about how your school, workplace or community is creating change for mental health
  • Nurture your own well-being by practicing and learning mental health strategies
  • Get involved in a mental health initiative or organize an event to support mental health
  • Engage in conversations about mental health to fight stigma

Visit   for more ideas and share your actions using #BellLetsTalk and help inspire others to join the movement.

About Bell Let’s Talk

The largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk is focused on 4 key action pillars – Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership – and is part of Bell for Better . Since its launch in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,500 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit .

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