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Bell Let’s Talk partners up to end stigma around mental health

Bell Let’s Talk is teaming up with the Northwestel and government of the NWT on a $500,000 collaboration to support the Strongest Families Institute.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

Bell Let’s Talk is partnering up with the Northwestel and government of the Northwest Territories to announce a $500,000 collaboration to support the Strongest Families Institute. Strongest Families is an award-winning charity that provides mental health services to youth and adults throughout the N.W.T. according to a press release.

The Institute helps families to overcome anxiety and behavioural challenges through the use of various evidence-based programs. Operating out of nine provinces in total, coaches provide support any time of the day or night, available in both French and English. Strongest Families also partners with Indigenous advisors to help better connect with people’s needs. The Institute is also committed to respecting the privacy of those they support.

“Our government is committed to making decisions to improve the lives of NWT residents. By partnering with Bell Let’s Talk, Northwestel and the Strongest Families Institute, we are able to provide individuals, families, caregivers and youth with mental wellness and behavioural challenge supports when and where they need them from their home community. There is no waitlist for this innovative, flexible and evidence-based service that is available by phone and can be scheduled around each person’s needs.” said Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services.

One of Strongest Families’ approach is to have weekly 45-minute calls with their clients over a 12 week period, or more if necessary. The clients are given handbooks on different ways that they may be able to deal with their particular mental health issue. There are also videos to accompany the handbook that demonstrate how such skills might be implemented.

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“Strongest Families Institute is proud to partner with the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Bell Let’s Talk and Northwestel, to increase access to timely mental health services for children, youth, adults and families. We are honoured to work with these partners to improve access to care. The announcement of this investment allows us to provide our skill-based programs that are proven to overcome mental health issues to NWT residents. Equipping people with life skills will lead to a healthier future. Through today’s announcement of matched funding, together we will improve the well-being of those in need of assistance. Strongest Families Institute applauds Bell Let’s Talk, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Northwestel on their funding commitment to improved mental health wellness for all.” said Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, President and CEO of Strongest Families Institute.

According to Lingley-Pottie about 90 percent of clients report that their mental health issue was eventually resolved or at least improved significantly by the time they had finished the program.

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to build on our existing partnership with the Strongest Families Institute to bring new mental health resources to families in the Northwest Territories. Bell and Northwestel share the Government of the Northwest Territories’ commitment to expanding access to mental health support in ways that will make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk.

“As a longstanding partner of Bell Let’s Talk and a passionate supporter of mental health in the North, Northwestel is proud to be involved in today’s announcement about how we will make additional resources available to Northwest Territories families. Mental health affects all of us, and I want to thank Bell Let’s Talk, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Strongest Families Institute for the work they are doing to make mental health a priority in our communities,” said Curtis Shaw, President of Northwestel

Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each text sent at no extra cost to the consumer. One of the main goals is to remove the stigma of discussing issues of mental health publicly. Bell Let’s Talk will be on January 29th.

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