Jan. 26, 2021

Wherever you are — make the most of this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day, Jan. 28

Find events, resources, and online support from your UCalgary community
bell let's talk day at ucalgary

Every year, the University of Calgary (and many other universities and colleges across Canada) joins Bell Let’s Talk (BLT) on their national awareness day for mental health. It’s a day where Bell raises funding for mental health programs across Canada and works to further destigmatize mental illnesses.

At UCalgary, it’s typically been a day for students, faculty and staff to connect on campus and share messages of hope, resources, and words of support in many forms — every year more than 800 paper talk bubbles have been filled and shared. Although a campus wide in-person gathering is unable to happen this year, there are plenty of ways to engage and find support in your UCalgary community. 

Talks, a screening, and ways to connect virtually to your campus community

Once again, we’re bringing the conversation to our UCalgary community — on and off campus, wherever you may be. We’re encouraging our fellow colleagues, peers, and classmates to engage in discussions about mental health and wellness, to share local resources, and to show that we are a campus of caring and that we are advocates who want to address stigmas that still exist around mental illness. Here are a few ideas on how to take part. 

Watch mental health short films and discuss with professionals

Sign up for a facilitated screening and discussion of a mental-health topic. This year we’re partnering with BLT and the Montreal Film Festival for free screenings of mental-health documentaries. Take an extended lunch break if you can, and virtually attend the screening on Thursday with a co-worker, peer, friend, member of your household, or just yourself. Find details and registration here.

Attend talks with experts and advocates

Two talks are also planned for Bell Let’s Talk Day. The Graduate Students’ Association is hosting a 4:30 p.m. talk with Allan Kehler, a renowned speaker and mental health advocate who brings his lived and professional experience to the conversation. Learn more and register here.

In addition, Jay Ingram and experts from The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute discuss the latest research impacting our understanding of Seasonal Affective Disorder — its causes, treatment, and the latest research. Learn more and register here (you’ll need a Calgary Public Library card, which is free and simple to sign up for).

Share a message of hope and support, or find them online and on campus

  • Send a message of support to those on campus here. Your message will be handwritten on a Bell Let's Talk bubble and posted around the UCalgary campuses by volunteers at Student Wellness Services. It may also appear on our UCalgary social media channels.
  • Post your own content on social media about mental health and wellness this Thursday, adding the two hashtags #UCalgary #BellLetsTalk. If your account is public, your message will pull into an online digital wall on Bell Let's Talk Day (Jan. 28). You’ll be able to find it day-of along with other messages, here.
  • On campus Jan. 28? Find messages of care spread around campus as you navigate your way to work and classes.

Update your Zoom background to encourage discussion

If you’re attending virtual meetings on the day of BLT, we have a Zoom background you can use to update your own background to encourage conversations or notify meeting attendees about the day. Download it here.

Reach out to a friend, colleague, or loved one

Think someone you know may be in distress? You can help by providing support, normalizing help-seeking behaviour, and referring them to appropriate resources. Responding with care and concern are critical factors in supporting a healthy campus community. Find resources to feel more equipped in responding here.

Need to talk to someone? Support is always available with these UCalgary resources:

Faculty and staff 


Support for those at risk of domestic or dating violence

Women’s Resource Centre: Peer support

  • Support can be accessible by email and through Zoom/Skype appointments. 

Faith and Spirituality Centre

  • Learn more about their growing online engagement options

Need to talk to someone now? Use local resources below, available 24/7

Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line
This line is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concerns. Call 1-877-303-2642.

Distress Centre
Speak to a highly trained volunteer, who will actively listen and provide additional resources if needed. Call 403-266-4357 or visit them online for chat information.

Wood’s Homes Community Resource Team
Connect with someone by calling 403-299-9699 or 1-800-563-6106. Text 587-315-5000 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Find information on no-cost walk-in counselling services.

Homewood Health (for faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars)
Get immediate crisis support or initiate counselling services by calling 1-800-633-1142 (select option #1 for crisis).

Kid’s Help Phone (for ages five to 29 who need support)
Call, chat or text 24/7. Visit online or call a counsellor at 1-800-668-6868.

More mental health resources

Community Connect YYC
Book affordable barrier-free phone or video counselling sessions.

Join and connect to a clinically moderated online peer-to-peer mental health community. Free to Albertans over the age of 16.

A free guided self-help program that helps adults and youth age 15-plus learn how to manage low mood, mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.

Wellness Together Canada
Free online resources and supports including immediate text support, information and videos, self-guided mental wellness programs and counselling.

Bell Let’s Talk Day activities are supported by Staff Wellness, Student Wellness Services and the Campus Mental Health Strategy. The University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy is a bold commitment to the importance of mental health and well-being of our university family. Our vision is to be a community where we care for each other, learn and talk about mental health and well-being, receive support as needed, and individually and collectively realize our full potential. Find support and connect to the strategy.