On Jan. 30, City of Iqaluit to raise a flag for mental health

Bell Let's Talk campaign has given $1 million to northern organizations

Gabrielle Morrill, Northwestel’s manager of government relations and community engagement

The City of Iqaluit has committed to raise a flag on Jan. 30 for Bell Let’s Talk Day, which aims to raise awareness and end stigma about mental health. Gabrielle Morrill, Northwestel’s manager of government relations and community engagement, spoke at the Jan. 8 Iqaluit city council meeting about the campaign. (FILE PHOTO)

By Courtney Edgar

The City of Iqaluit will raise a flag on Jan. 30 to support ending the stigma that surrounds mental health, as part of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

Bell—which owns Northwestel—has, to date, contributed over $93.4 million in support of mental health programs across the country, said Gabrielle Morrill, Northwestel’s manager of government relations and community engagement.

She spoke at the Jan. 8 Iqaluit city council meeting as a delegate, inviting the city to take part in a flag-raising ceremony in honour of the ninth annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, along with the other territorial capitals, Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

Out of those $93.4 million funds raised nationally, $1 million has gone to northern organizations like the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line and the Alianait Mental Health Awareness Tour, Morill said.

That is about one per cent of the national total raised, then split between the three northern territories.

This year, Bell hopes to raise more than $100 million for mental health awareness programs across the country.

“Every year, Bell puts on a day in order for us to focus on sharing stories of recovery and hope from Canadians of all ages living with mental illness or providing support for those who do,” Morrill said.

“Mental health is of course an important issue here in Iqaluit and in Nunavut as a whole.”

Coun. Kyle Sheppard said that he is “wholeheartedly” in support of the initiative.

All the city councillors present voted in favour of raising a flag for Bell Let’s Talk.

Meanwhile, the city of Iqaluit’s clerk is working on creating a new policy for flag-raising and determining which pole will be used.

In January 2017, the renowned Olympic athlete, Clara Hughes, visited Iqaluit as a part of a cross-country tour on behalf of Bell Let’s Talk, and presented the Embrace Life Council with a $250,000 cheque.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Just Saying on

    There are 2 Iqaluit residents who are part of the Bell Let’s Talk team. Maybe they could be there for the flag raising.

  2. Posted by Caroline Anawak on

    A great idea!
    Too many people fear the stigma of mental illness and we have to lose that stigma!
    If you are physically sick you do what you have to do to feel better.
    If you have a mental illness it is important to do the same.
    Lose the stigma and embrace getting help!
    Support others to do the same too.

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