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TMCNet:  Today is Bell Let's Talk Day - join the conversation about mental health

[February 12, 2013]

Today is Bell Let's Talk Day - join the conversation about mental health

HALIFAX, Feb. 12, 2013, 2013 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- -- Text, call, tweet and share and Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health programs across the country -- Seamus O'Regan hosts GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS(TM) title attempt in Halifax for Most people sending a text message simultaneously at the Metro Centre at noon -- Kids Help Phone hosts school assemblies in Halifax, NS and St.

John's, NL It's Bell Let's Talk Day and today across the country, Canadians are invited to join the conversation and help end the stigma around mental illness. In Atlantic Canada, Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is leading a number of mental health activities with national spokesperson Seamus O'Regan. These include breaking a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title in Halifax and hosting school assemblies with Kids Help Phone in Halifax and St. John's.

"We know that the stigma around mental illness can make people feel isolated," said Karen Sheriff, President and CEO, Bell Aliant. "By doing something we do on a daily basis anyway - reaching out to family and friends - we can help alleviate the isolation faced by those with mental illness. Today is the day that every one of us can make a difference." For every text message sent and every long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of our Bell Let's Talk image today, Bell will donate 5 cents to programs dedicated to mental health (regular long distance and text charges apply).

"Mental illness has touched the lives of so many of us in communities here in HRM and across the country," said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.

"Today from coast to coast to coast, I encourage you to participate in Bell Let's Talk Day and help raise awareness for an illness that affects 20 per cent of Canadians. I want to commend Bell Aliant for their leadership of this initiative." Attempt to set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bell Aliant customers, partners, employees, families and friends are invited to attempt to set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Most people sending a text message simultaneously in support of mental health. The current record of 677, set on May 18, 2011, is held by Pine View High School students in Utah as part of a driving and texting awareness campaign. Today's event gets underway at noon, visit letstalkhalifax.ca for more information.

Kids Help Phone School Assemblies Bell Aliant is also partnering with Kids Help Phone and hosting two school assemblies, at Gorsebrook Junior High in Halifax, NS today and at St. Peter's Junior High in St. John's, NL tomorrow. This interactive school assembly will feature a Kids Help Phone counsellor and Seamus O'Regan, Bell Let's Talk day spokesperson and CTV personality.

The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a multi-year, $50-million charitable program based on four action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices.

With Bell Let's Talk Day as its anti-stigma centrepiece, the initiative is providing significant funding for leading mental health hospitals and grassroots organizations, driving new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research.

In 2012, 8 million Canadians answered the call with more than 78 million text messages and long distance calls on Bell Let's Talk Day, resulting in over $3.9 million donated to mental health initiatives across the country.

Mental health is a focus of Bell Aliant's community program. Since 2011, Bell Aliant has given more than $1 million to support local programs that reduce stigma, and increase access to care, such as Dots NB; Laing House, NS; Health PEI and Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador.

To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk, find us on Facebook.com/BellAliant and follow us on Twitter @Bell_Aliant.

About Bell Aliant Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOPTM services. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience.

About Guinness World Records Guinness World Records Limited (www.guinnessworldrecords.com) is the global authority on record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records book is one of the best-selling books of all time and currently sells more than 2.5 million copies in 22 languages and over 100 countries.

The Guinness World Records brand extends across a wide range of media, with global television audiences of 250 million annually, a website which attracts over 13 million visitors, and live events which have entertained and inspired more than 1.5 million people around the world. Guinness World Records Corporate, the commercial arm of Guinness World Records Limited, harnesses the power of record-breaking to create business solutions for companies around the globe.

The featured record has been supplied courtesy of Guinness World Records Limited.

SOURCE: BELL ALIANT INC.

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2013/12/c4838.html SOURCE: BELL ALIANT INC.

Isabelle Robinson Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs (877) 799-6299 isabelle.robinson@bellaliant.ca

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