2014 CAE Recipient Profile - Bell


Bell Let’s Talk is an unprecedented multi-year initiative dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. The largest-ever such corporate commitment in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk is based on four pillars supporting a wide range of programs in anti-stigma, care and access, research and workplace mental health. 



Bell has a multidisciplinary team dedicated to developing and implementing mental health best practices to support the mental health and well-being of all its team members.


National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety

Created in 2013, Bell was an important funder and contributor to the world’s first voluntary national standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard). Bell was also an early adopter of the Standard and has completed its first full year cycle of implementation. Further work in underway to ensure the  requirements of the Standard are fully integrated within its overall occupational health and safety framework to sustain long term and continuous improvement.


Team engagement, workplace education and awareness

Feedback from team members indicates an increased belief that Bell Let’s Talk has raised awareness and is having a positive effect on perceptions of mental health in Canada year over year. 

Since 2011, Bell has held more than 500 mental health events for team members across Canada including seminars, workshops, information kiosks, keynote speakers and special activities during the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign, Mental Health Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week. The internal Bell Let’s Talk website also features resources for team members to learn, participate and stay informed throughout the year, with access to online training, innovative, expert-led web-chats and an extensive video library on mental health related topics.


Expanding mental health training across the organization

Since 2011, thousands of team members have enhanced their understanding of mental health, learned about fighting the stigma around mental illness, and discovered strategies for building their personal resilience by completing a 30-45 minute tutorial designed specifically as an introduction to mental health.

All Bell managers are required to undergo training to support team members who may be experiencing mental health issues mental illness and to aid in their return to work. The training was initially offered as a single face-to-face session that was attended by more than 6,000 of our team leaders across Canada and mental health training is now part of all management on boarding processes.

Bell’s mental health management training program has been expanded through a  partnership with Queen’s University and Morneau Shepell, Bell’s Employee Assistance Program provider. This program is now  available to any organization across the country. Upon successful completion, leaders will receive a Workplace Mental Health Leadership certificate. This is the most extensive training program of its kind  in Canada offered by a university.

Bell is also delivering customized and voluntary workplace mental health training for Bell union representatives and Health & Safety committee members. This training focuses on improving participants’ understanding of mental health issues and how to support team members experiencing mental health problems.


Mental health complex case support

Bell created a cross functional team of HR professionals and subject matter experts to review complex workplace situations involving mental health. The team reviews each case  to expedite effective and appropriate action. As well, this team provides advice and recommendations for process and procedure enhancements as part of their commitment to continuous improvement and to deepen Bell’s expertise on mental health in workplace best practices that will best support team members in their recovery.


Enhanced Return-To-Work Program

In 2012, Bell enhanced its return-to-work program to better support team members,  with a special focus on how mental health issues impact short-term disability leaves. The program provides enhanced support  to employees and managers. Return to work specialists are involved in the preparation of the return to work plan to promote a successful reintegration in the workplace. Managers report greater confidence and knowledge to support their team members  and team members report better experience both during their absence and upon their return to work.