Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces take part

From: National Defence

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) participated in a panel discussion today for Bell Let’s Talk Day at 17 Wing Winnipeg.

Panelists included Bell Let’s Talk Ambassador and veteran Bruno Guévremont, Brigadier-General Mario Leblanc, Colonel Rakesh Jetly, Major Nathan Packer, Major Patti Louttit, Sergeant Holly Young and civilian panelist Alana Mahaney from the Department of National Defence.

As a longstanding partner of Bell on this campaign, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are proud to support this important initiative to continue the conversation around mental health and end the stigma attached to mental illness.

The 10th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day invites all Canadians to join the world’s biggest conversation about mental health. The theme for this year’s campaign is Mental Health: Every Action Counts. Throughout the month of January, Bell Let’s Talk encouraged everyone to join the discussion about how we can all take action to create positive change for Canadians who live with mental illness.

Highlights from the panel discussion can be viewed via the Canadian Armed Forces Instagram and Facebook accounts.


“Much is asked of our military members, which is why mental health matters to me so much. Mental wellbeing is a critical aspect of overall health, and contributes to our physical health and overall resiliency.”

– Brigadier-General Mario Leblanc, Commander, 2 Canadian Air Division

“As military members we are trained and prepared to deal with various stressful situations. We have the skills and desire to get the mission done. But all of this rests on the foundation of a solid grasp of our mental health and wellbeing.”

– Bruno Guévremont, Bell Let’s Talk Ambassador (Retd Leading Seamen)

“Initiatives such as Bell Let’s Talk provide the opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to help break down the barriers to mental health care both in the CAF and the Canadian population at large. By learning more about mental health, we can reduce the stigma of mental illness in our workplace, our homes, and our communities.”

– Colonel Rakesh Jetly, Senior Psychiatrist, Directorate of Mental Health, Canadian Forces Health Services Group

“When members or their families access Health Services, our excellent team of primary care providers and mental health clinicians recognize that although they all strive to be resilient, they are human and are impacted by many factors including work, family life, and physical health. Challenges that are inconsequential to one individual may seem insurmountable to another. Regardless of rank, socioeconomic status or outward appearance, everyone’s resilience is unique and we all need to think, talk, and act in a manner that is mindful of that. It is vital that we see the use of mental health services as part of overall health and fitness.”

– Major Patti Louttit, Wing Surgeon, 23 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Winnipeg

Quick facts

  • On January 29, 2020, for every text message, mobile, and long distance call made by customers of Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, and Bell MTS, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video on social media, and use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook or Snapchat, Bell donates five cents to support Canadian mental health programs.

/Public Release. View in full here.