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Bell Let's Talk And True Patriot Love Launch Military Family Mental Health Fund

  • $1 million fund for community-based mental health support
  • Grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to deliver programs at Military Family Resource Centres across Canada
  • Applications for 2013 funding accepted from April 30 through June 28, 2013
  • Bell continues as presenting sponsor of the True Patriot Love Tribute Dinner through 2014

OTTAWA, April 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Canada and the True Patriot Love Foundation today announced the launch of the Bell True Patriot Love Fund, a $1 million program to support community mental health initiatives for Canadian military families.

"I salute the collaboration and support of Bell and True Patriot Love in bringing mental health and mental illness to the attention of Canadians," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The Canadian Armed Forces are proud participants in Bell Let's Talk Day and share in the goal of ending the stigma surrounding mental illness."

Starting this year and through 2016, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund will distribute $250,000 annually in grants of $5,000 to $25,000. It will support programs delivered through Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) that focus on improving access to mental health care on Canadian Forces Bases across the country. Bell and True Patriot Love are sharing the cost of the $1 million program equally.

"Bell Let's Talk is proud to partner with True Patriot Love in supporting members of the Canadian military and their families with this specialized program," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE. "We all acknowledge the unique pressures and demands faced by military families, and the Fund will help ensure access to mental health support for those who need it, as close to home as possible."

"True Patriot Love is grateful for the leading role Bell has played in working to establish a funding mechanism to support mental health care for the Canadian Armed Forces community," said Bronwen Evans, Co-Founder and Managing Director of True Patriot Love. "Together we are committed to seeing positive change for those Canadians who dedicate so much of their lives to their country."

The call for funding applications runs from today, April 30 , through to June 28, 2013, and is open to all MFRCs across Canada working in partnership with local mental health groups. The True Patriot Love Foundation will manage and administer all aspects of the Fund.

"We have seen the real difference True Patriot Love is making in the lives of Canadian servicemen and women who have struggled as a result of their service to the country," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "We're very pleased to apply our experience in working with grassroots community groups through the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund to bring enhanced mental health support to military families in locations across the nation in partnership with True Patriot Love."

Bell and True Patriot Love will focus the fund on high-impact, community-level programming that meets the unique needs of each individual military base. The most effective way to achieve this is through MFRCs, which serve as a well-established focus through which community-based services and social supports can be provided. Many Canadian military families live on military bases in smaller, often remote communities.

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