By Martin Allen 
BELLEVILLE – Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign broke records this year.
Let’s Talk is an initiative held every year since 2010 to raise awareness and funds about mental-health issues. The program raised $6,585,250 this year, the highest amount ever.
On Let’s Talk Day, Bell donated five cents to mental-health initiatives for every time someone:
- Used the hashtag #BellLetsTalk on Twitter and Instagram
- Sent a text message over the Bell network
- Made a long-distance or mobile phone calls using Bell
- Watched a Bell Let’s Talk video on Facebook
- used the Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat geofilter
Olympic gold-medallist Clara Hughes was part of the program this year, as she has been for several years.
“We keep on knocking holes in the dark wall that is stigma, and we keep on growing funding for new research and expanded care as the engagement builds and builds,” she said in a statement. “It’s amazing to see the passion and positivity all around as we speak openly about the impact of mental illness on each of us.”
Last year there were 7.4 million interactions. This year there were just over 22 million.
Bell attributes the record-breaking number in part to the inclusion of Instagram and Snapchat.
Rugby star Cindy Nelles, a Belleville native, took part  in promotional material for Let’s Talk this year.
“I think this event has been gaining traction because this is what we need as a society,” she said in an interview with QNet News. “Bell started a really important conversation, but I think we are starting to understand how complicated mental health is and how having a safe space to have these conversations allows people to find strength within.”
The list of celebrities joining the conversation was extensive. Everyone from comedian Howie Mandel to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part: