$1 million Bell True Patriot Love Fund extended through 2020 to fund programs for Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans and their families

  • More than 60 programs funded to date in military communities across Canada
  • Bell has hired 100 Veterans since the start of 2014; Bell Media sponsoring 2017 Invictus Games Toronto

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 10, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ – Bell and the True Patriot Love Foundation have announced a four year extension of their joint Bell True Patriot Love Fund, a renewed $1 million partnership that will continue to support community mental health programs serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families through 2020.

“Bell Let’s Talk is very pleased to partner with True Patriot Love to continue our support for the mental health of those who serve our country in Canada’s military and the families that support them,” said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “Military families face unique challenges when it comes to accessing mental health services, and we are proud of the role the Bell True Patriot Love Fund has played and will continue to play in providing specialized programs to them.”

Since 2013, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund has distributed $1 million in grants to 61 mental health programs delivered through Military Family Resource Centres and other groups in communities around Canada. Extending the partnership for a further four years and another $1 million ensures continued investment in programs that are making a real difference in the lives of military members, Veterans and their families. Bell also remains the presenting sponsor of the annual True Patriot Love Toronto Tribute Dinner, the largest fundraising event in support of Canada’s military through 2020.

“True Patriot Love thanks Bell Let’s Talk for its leading role in supporting mental health care for the Canadian Armed Forces community,” said Bronwen Evans, CEO of the True Patriot Love Foundation. “Together we remain committed to seeing positive change for those Canadians who dedicate so much of their lives to their country.”

This year, the Bell True Patriot Love Fund is distributing grants to 13 more organizations delivering specialized services ranging from animal and music therapy programs to family and couples counselling and trauma support.

“Bell True Patriot Love Fund recipients are all making a real difference in the lives of Canadian military members and their families and we congratulate them on their commitment and passion,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “We look forward to supporting many more such community groups as they provide mental health programs for military families in every region of Canada.”

Bell hires 100th Veteran
In November 2013, Bell became the first communications company to join the Military Employment Transition (MET) program, which supports employment opportunities for Canadian military Veterans. Now three years into the program, Bell has hired its 100th Veteran out of the approximately 1,800 placed through the MET program. 

Invictus Games Toronto 2017
Announced earlier this year, Bell Media will be the exclusive Canadian broadcast partner of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017. An international sporting event for wounded active duty and Veteran service members from around the world, the Invictus Games were established in 2014 by Prince Harry, who remains Patron of the Games. Taking place in September 2017, Invictus Games Toronto 2017 will be broadcast nationally on TSN.

Remembering our fellow Bell employees
During World War I, Bell technicians, linesmen, clerks and managers joined the war effort, many using their civilian skills to maintain essential lines of communications as part of the nascent Canadian Signals Corps. A total of 833 Bell employees enlisted in the armed forces during the war; 89 lost their lives. When Canada went to war again in 1939, 2,543 Bell employees enlisted in the armed forces or were seconded to the government for technical work; 95 Bell employees gave their lives during World War II.

About Bell
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone, small business and enterprise communications services. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital and out of home media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal’s BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca.

The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About True Patriot Love
True Patriot Love honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Forces, Veterans and their families by:

  • Stepping in where government is unable to fund programs that support their physical, mental and social wellbeing no matter where they are posted in Canada or abroad
  • Promoting their special skills and capabilities resulting from their unique conditions of service
  • Being a channel for everyday Canadians, corporations and philanthropists to express their appreciation and patriotism

Over the past three years, True Patriot Love was honoured to have raised over $14 million to fund a variety of military programs, charities and causes, when and where it is needed most. Our three key areas of support are family health and support, physical health and rehabilitation, and mental health and well-Being.

Please visit www.truepatriotlove.com for more information.

2016 Bell True Patriot Love Fund Grant Recipients 

Equi-Sens (Terrebone, QC)
Equine therapy for military personnel and Veterans living with PTSD. 

Guitars for Vets (Halifax, NS)
Peer support through guitar lessons and music therapy for Veterans with PTSD.

Legacy Place Society (Alberta)
Short-term housing for military personnel receiving mental health assistance and support during crisis situations in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. 

Mood Disorders Society of Canada (Perth, ON)
Women’s trauma support program for military personnel living with PTSD. 

Murphy’s Legacy Society (Sooke, BC)
Bilingual group support therapy delivered through the COPE Program (Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday).

National Service Dogs (Cambridge, ON)
Certified Service Dogs for military personnel and Veterans living with PTSD.

PEI Military Family Resource Centre
A web-based peer support program for caregivers in military families across the province.

Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (Toronto, ON)
Entrepreneurial education, tools and resources to help transitioning Veterans, released due to medical conditions such as PTSD, to find a new civilian mission.

St. John’s Military Family Resource Centre (Newfoundland and Labrador)
A pilot equine treatment program to improve mental health resilience and enhance coping and communication skills for military families.

Strongest Families Institute (Halifax, NS)
Coaching for military families with children living with anxiety and behavioural concerns.

Trenton Military Family Resource Centre (Trenton, ON)
In partnership with the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, workshops focused on developing resiliency within military families. 

University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)
Classroom delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Mindfulness Course in Mental Resilience to provide training for mental health professionals and peer support staff to improve services for the military community in Manitoba.

Veterans Transition Network (Vancouver, BC)
Expansion of a clinically driven, peer support program to assist Veterans living with mental illness in Québec and Manitoba.

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis
Bell Media Relations
613 785-1427

Bronwen Evans
CEO, True Patriot Love Foundation
416 628 1053