These folks posed for a picture after Bell Let’s Talk made a $20,000 donation to StFX to be used for mental health services.

ANTIGONISH: Mental health services at a local university received a boost last week.

On January 17, Bell’s Let’s Talk Community Fund donated $20,000 for mental health initiatives at StFX University, including support training of an additional Mental Health First Aid (adults who interact with youth) course instructor at StFX, as well as training materials, with additional plans to partner with First Nations experts trained as instructors in the Mental Health First Aid First Nations Course, to offer specialized training to student services professionals.

“We are going to be using that money in our Mental Health First Aid training and what that allows us to do is to train groups of people on the campus to be able to respond in an effective and timely way should someone disclose either issues related to mental health or have some type of attributes that reflect a mental health issue,” said Dr. Kent MacDonald, president of StFX. “I think fundamentally that is going to allow us to serve our community more effectively.”

Photos by Matt Draper
Bell Let’s talk representative John Ouellette is seen here offering comments following the donation of $20,000 to the university.

John Ouellette, Bell Let’s Talk representative, said the funding was part of the $100 million investment in mental health by the company.

“I think it’s an issue with every family, with every community, and I think Bell has recognized a that an appropriate way to really make a difference is to have people feel free to talk about their own issues with mental health and be able to talk to others about the same,” said Ouellette when speaking of mental health.

Ouellette said the StFX grant was one of seven in Atlantic Canada.

On January 31, Bell will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs, at no extra cost to participants, for every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS customers; every tweet using #BellLetsTalk; and every view of Bell Let’s Talk Day video at: Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk; use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame on Facebook; every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view on Instagram; and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and video view on Snapchat.

StFX University president Dr. Kent MacDonald thanked Bell Let’s Talk for the donation which will be used to upgrade mental health services at the school.