Province, Bell Let’s Talk partner to expand mental health services for children, youth and their families


Source:  Province of Manitoba Media Bulletin

The Manitoba government and Bell Let’s Talk have partnered to contribute $1 million to the Strongest Families Institute (SFI) to expand mental health services for children, youth and their families throughout Manitoba, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“When families need help, they need it right away,” said Friesen.  “The Strongest Families Institute has a proven track record of providing mental health care to children and youth that is effective, family-centred, timely and accessible to those living in rural and remote areas.  We thank Bell Let’s Talk for raising awareness of mental health issues and for its support of this new program in Manitoba.”

The Manitoba government and Bell Let’s Talk are jointly contributing $1 million over five years to SFI, an award-winning organization that provides evidence-based programs for children, youth and families dealing with mild to moderate mental illness and other health issues.  SFI uses a unique distance coaching approach to support families in the privacy of their own homes at flexible hours.  SFI is the only program of its kind in the country, offering a no-wait-list policy and services to families with children and youth aged three to 17 affected by significant challenges.

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to partner with the Manitoba government and the Strongest Families Institute to help expand mental health services across the province,” said Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk.  “The Strongest Families Institute is a real leader in finding new ways to offer young people and their families access to the mental health care and services they need.”

SFI currently operates in seven other provinces.  Services will be available in both English and French when SFI formally launches its programs in Manitoba in the coming weeks.  Approximately 1,000 families are expected to benefit from the service over the next five years, the minister noted.

“Strongest Families was designed to remove barriers to care so families receive help when and where they need it,” said Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, president and CEO, Strongest Families Institute.  “Our skill-based approach has shown to be highly effective in reducing mental health issues early in life.  We thank the Manitoba government and Bell Let’s Talk for this generous gift so our SFI team can help children, youth and families in Manitoba lead happier healthier lives.”

Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 30, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives.  On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each eligible text, phone call and social media interaction on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, at no cost to participants.  To learn more about how to get involved in Bell Let’s Talk Day, visit

To learn more about the Strongest Families Institute, visit