Bell congratulates Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk, on being named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour for those who have made extraordinary contributions to Canada.
Announced by Governor General Julie Payette, the appointment recognizes Deacon’s decades-long commitment to improving the lives of Canadians living with mental illness, including her leadership of the ground-breaking Bell Let’s Talk initiative from its inception in 2010.
“Congratulations Mary on this recognition of your dedication to changing the way we all think about mental illness, and for driving the awareness and action that have made such a positive difference for so many,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. “Your guidance of Bell Let’s Talk from its very beginning has been a critical factor in building the initiative from an idea into a national mental health movement.”
“Our team is proud that Mary has received such a prestigious honour for her leadership in Canadian mental health. I’m looking forward to working with her as we continue to grow the reach of Bell Let’s Talk and drive further positive change,” said Bell’s Chief Operating Officer Mirko Bibic, who will become President and CEO of the company following Cope’s retirement in January 2020.
Launched in September 2010 as a 5-year, $50 million program to fund anti-stigma initiatives, care and access, workplace programs and new research, Bell Let’s Talk has now surpassed $100 million in total Bell funding for Canadian mental health. To date, Bell Let’s Talk has helped provide millions of Canadians with access to mental health services through partnerships with more than 1,000 organizations in every province and territory, including universities, hospitals, workplace organizations, local governments and community groups.
A social media phenomenon, #BellLetsTalk is now Canada’s most used Twitter hashtag ever and is consistently the top Twitter trend in Canada and around the world on Bell Let’s Talk Day.
Bell Let’s Talk has welcomed more than 1 billion total messages of support for progress in mental health from Canadians and people around the world since the first Bell Let’s Talk Day in 2011, driving Bell’s funding of the initiative to $100,695,763.75 so far.