The CAPERS, Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Bell Aliant have joined forces for the sixth annual Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 27. Everyone is invited to join the conversation with 2,200 student-athletes from 11 Atlantic universities to help end the stigma around mental illness.
“CBU is thrilled to play a role with Bell Aliant and Atlantic University Sport in the upcoming Bell Let’s Talk Day,” said John Ryan, CBU Director of Athletics. “It is important that our student athletes are involved with both campus and community engagement. This project allows our student athletes to come together with all students to educate each other on mental health issues. Increasing awareness and improving attitudes is a major step in fighting the stigma of Mental Health. Some of our student athletes deal with Mental Health issues daily and it is important that they realize that the first step is to identify and talk about the issues. It is great to see 11 Universities who battle throughout the year on the competitive field of play come together and support each other as one against Mental Health. “
“By partnering with Atlantic University Sport, Bell Let’s Talk is reaching student-athletes all across Atlantic Canada to encourage conversations about mental health,” said Dan McKeen, Bell Senior Vice President and Vice Chair, Atlantic. “Increasing awareness and improving attitudes about mental health is the key to reducing the stigma around mental illness that keeps so many from seeking the help they need.”
Mental illness is an issue that hits home for many students and their peers with suicide accounting for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds.
“While competition and rivalry is the nature of sport, Bell Let’s Talk Day is a great opportunity for all our schools and teams to come together in support of mental health,” said AUS executive director Phil Currie. “The slogan we developed with Bell Aliant for this partnership is ‘One Team For Mental Health’ and that really encompasses what we’re doing.”
Student-athletes from all 11 campuses have stepped forward to share their personal experiences with mental illness in a video which will be viewed conference-wide starting January 18 on the Bell Aliant FibreOP YouTube page.
“It was important for me to participate in this video and overall campaign because mental health has affected close relatives of mine and I know it affects many more people,” said Blain. “There is a stigma around mental health which discourages people from speaking openly while suffering in silence and hopefully the Bell Let’s Talk campaign will help shed light on these issues.”