Today, Bell announced the launch of its $1-million annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund for 2016, and has begun accepting applications for grants for community-based mental health initiatives improving access to care across Canada.

The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, through significant funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives.

"The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund is focused on improving access to care for people living with mental health issues through local projects and grassroots organizations in communities all around Canada," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Over the last 5 years we have seen so many wonderful initiatives that have truly made a difference in the lives of Canadians and we are delighted to invite many more local mental health organizations to apply for grants again this year."

Since 2011, the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund has supported more than 250 community groups in every region of Canada.

Registered not-for-profit organizations and registered charities are invited to apply for a grant to help fund local mental health programs.  Applications are reviewed by mental health experts from across Canada. The 2016 application period runs until March 31 and 2016 fund grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2016.

"It is important to recognize that we need to take care of our mental health the same way as we take care of our physical health. However, mental health sometimes gets overlooked," said the Honourable Jane

Philpott, Minister of Health. "The Bell Let's Talk initiative has been successfully opening up the dialogue on mental health in Canada. I congratulate Bell, its partners and Canadians who are sharing their personal struggles with mental illness as a way of encouraging everyone to get involved in finding solutions."

The 6 th annual Bell Let's Talk Day is this January 27, 2016. For every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers on January 27, or for every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image at , Bell will donate 5 cents to support Canadian mental health programs.

Bell's donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let's Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges if any, apply.

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