It’s first thing in the morning, January 27. Before settling into their desks and getting down to work for the day, a handful of Calgary Stampede employees gather for a conversation and a quick photo in support of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

Calgary Stampede employees gather to support the #BellLetsTalk initiative.
Calgary Stampede employees gather to support the #BellLetsTalk initiative.

At the same time, around Stampede Park, across Calgary and throughout Canada, similar conversations are being started through the photos and messages of support posted to social media with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day engages Canadians in a cross-country conversation in an effort to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. For every social media mention, as well as every text or call on the Bell network on January 27, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs.

 

This year’s campaign achieved record-breaking participation and Bell has announced it will be donating nearly $6.3 million.

Bell

“We are pleased to support our Champion Level Sponsor, Bell, in their annual Bell Let’s Talk campaign,” says the Calgary Stampede’s Fiona Munro, who works closely with Bell as a sponsor account manager. “This is important to the Calgary Stampede because we believe in supporting one another and building a year-round gathering place that is welcoming to all.”

Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses share their support of #BellLetsTalk on Twitter.
Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses share their support of #BellLetsTalk on Twitter.
Calgary Stampede Indian Princesses shares #BellLetsTalk with her followers on Facebook.
Calgary Stampede Indian Princesses shares #BellLetsTalk with her followers on Facebook.

The Canadian Mental Health Association defines stigma as a negative stereotype. For many people struggling with mental illness, it can be one of the greatest barriers to getting help.

 

“The Stampede family is supportive of one another and the community that we serve,” says Munro. “To us western hospitality means looking out for one another and treating everyone with respect.”

It’s for just that reason that the Calgary Stampede takes part in Bell Let’s Talk Day, and why year-round we dedicate ourselves to being Greatest Together!

Bell Let's Talk Day 2016