Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk gets ready to roll in support of Canadian mental health

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  • Six-time Olympian Clara Hughes will ride her bike 12,000 km around Canada, bringing the mental health conversation to communities in every province and territory
  • Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk begins March 14 in Toronto and concludes July 1 as part of Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

MONTRÉAL, March 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced the countdown to the start of Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk on March 14. In 10 days, Clara will set out on her epic journey around Canada in support of mental health from Maple Leaf Square in Toronto, ultimately riding 12,000 kilometres through every province and territory before concluding her ride on Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

"After months of preparation and anticipation, I can't wait to get on my bike and meet Canadians everywhere to talk about mental health. Together, we can achieve a stigma-free Canada," said Clara. "Mental illness is part of everyone's life in some way, and talking openly about it tells those who struggle that they shouldn't fear seeking help. Beating the stigma is the biggest step we can take in moving Canada's mental health forward. So I'm eager to share my mental health story with you, and hope to hear yours."

Over 110 days, Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will visit 95 communities in all territories and provinces, concluding in Ottawa on July 1 as part of the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. Clara will be welcomed by The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the honourary Community Champion for Ottawa.

"On Canada Day, all roads lead to Parliament Hill as Canadians across the country gather together to celebrate," said Minister Glover. "Clara Hughes will have traveled many Canadian roads during her 110-day ride in support of mental health. On July 1, we will not only celebrate the end of Clara's Big Ride, but also the lasting impact her journey will have on mental health for all Canadians."

The kick-off event in Toronto on March 14 and the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa are just two of the more than 200 events that are already planned in communities across the country by schools, youth organizations and community groups. Every Canadian can participate in Clara's Big Ride by attending an event or by sharing the journey online.

For more information about joining the conversation on social media using #ClarasBigRide, attending a community event, supporting your local mental health organization or helping raise funds, visit Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide.

"Clara's Big Ride will highlight the incredible work that is being done by mental health organizations at the grassroots level in every part of Canada," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "Together we are making significant progress in the fight to break the stigma of mental illness. We encourage Canadians to keep the momentum going by joining Clara in the conversation."

Canadians can also show their support by proudly wearing the limited-edition official jersey of Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk. The cycling jersey and technical t-shirt can be purchased online at Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide. $15 from the sale of each item will be donated to Kids Help Phone, the national service offering free, anonymous and confidential phone and online professional counseling for young people across Canada.

National Partners
Clara's Big Ride is powered by the support of our National Partners - Aimia, BMO, Canadian Tire, Cisco, Lundbeck, President's Choice and Samsung - who are providing significant support for the Ride. For more information on our National Partners, please visit Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide/Partners.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone and business communications services. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca.

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