National carrier Bell has announced the launch of ‘Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund.’
The new fund will support Canadian colleges and universities in implementing the National Standard of Canada and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.
Institutions can now apply for a kickoff grant to cover the costs associated with starting the Standard, with the opportunity to get funding for specific student mental health initiatives beginning in the spring.
The new standard is helped by Bell Let’s Talk Day funding and is led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association. The Standard offers a set of guidelines for students’ mental health that will help increase awareness, reduce stigma, improve life and resiliency skills, and make a healthier and safer education overall.
Further, the Post-Secondary fund aims to help universities and colleges add to their existing efforts to support students’ mental health by implementing the Standard’s framework.
Additionally, Bell Let’s Talk will launch the second phase of the Post-Secondary Fund in the spring for colleges and universities to identify any gaps or needs in their mental health support services and build new initiatives to address them.
According to Bell, most Canadian post-secondary education students are aged 24 or under, which is the demographic that’s most susceptible to developing mental health issues.
Furthermore, Bell’s Let’s Talk 2021 Campus Campaign is now reaching more than 200 universities and colleges in every province and territory and has been enhanced with a digital toolkit so that students across the country can engage safely.
Bell designed the toolkit to keep mental health conversations going during COVID-19 with features like a virtual photo booth for students and faculty to post selfies and share personalized mental health messages and wellness activities that will encourage awareness and self-care.
Bell Let’s Talk has also partnered with Kids Help Phone for an Instagram live event on January 19th that focuses on post-secondary students’ mental health issues.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 28th, and like every year, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for applicable texts, local or long-distance calls, as well as tweets and TikTok videos with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag.