On Oct. 7, Bell Let’s Talk announced contributions totalling $1 million to support student mental health programs at McGill and Université de Montréal.
The Bell Let’s Talk funding of $500,000 for each university will help expand existing mental health programs and develop additional services that will be accessible to more students.
“These mental health support programs at Université de Montréal and McGill will help students deal with difficult situations in a way that does not interfere with their studies,” said Martine Turcotte, Vice Chair, Québec, for Bell. “Most people affected by mental health issues live in silence for fear of being judged or rejected because of the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. Improving access to mental health care and talking openly about the need for these services are priorities for Bell Let’s Talk.”
At McGill, the donation will help fund the McGill Wellness Portal, a comprehensive self-screening tool focused on the most common mental health issues faced by McGill’s students: depression, anxiety, eating disorders and alcohol misuse. Students will answer questions that cover the nature and severity of their concerns, reflecting a clinically rigorous evaluative approach developed from proven mental health evaluation tools. Based on the individual student’s responses, the tool will provide a recommendation of further intervention where warranted, including detailed information about how to contact McGill Mental Health and Counseling caregivers.
“Thanks to Bell Let’s Talk, our Mental Health Team has created an innovative website featuring an online screening tool that enables students, along with family members and friends, to gain a better understanding of the state of their mental health, and help determine whether they need to seek treatment,” says Stuart Cobbett, Chairman of McGill’s Board of Governors.
“Organizing prevention and mental health awareness activities aimed at young people, who are our future, represents a truly worthy cause,” said Monique Vallée, Executive Committee member in charge of social and community development and homelessness at the Ville de Montréal. “These Bell’s Let’s Talk donations will support additional activities of this type for the benefit of students attending Montréal’s two largest universities.”