Bell Canada Connects Sick Children with The Best Possible Care for 100 Years

One hundred years ago, Bell Canada held a fundraiser to help support London’s brand-new children’s hospital.

In 1922, at-home telephones were novel. Bell offered to put on a demonstration of this new technology, where a collection would be taken.

While it was the company’s first recorded effort to support Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, originally known as War Memorial Children’s Hospital, it certainly wasn’t their last.

A century later, Bell forges ahead to connect people instantly over phone lines and airwaves and continues to support the best possible care for kids through helping to launch faster, timelier mental health care for youth in our community.Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

Children’s Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program is a recipient of a $20,000 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund Grant.

Wait times for mental health care became unimaginably worse over the pandemic. The waitlist for youth requiring outpatient care in our catchment area increased to a shocking 24-36 months – a four-fold increase from 2019.

Bell’s grant will help fund the launch of a specialized clinic, GET-Care (Get Evidenced-based Treatment), to provide youth with anxiety disorders with rapid assessment and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in a group setting, as opposed to waiting for one-on-one care. Group CBT therapy has been found to be equally as effective as individual sessions and more efficient in terms of time and money.

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to help Children’s Hospital in connecting children and youth with more timely mental health care through rapid assessment and evidence-based CBT,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund provides grants to mental health initiatives in communities like London that are working to expand access to mental health care programs for more youth who need support and rely on services in their local hospital setting.”

“This generous funding from our partners at Bell will help our hospital reduce wait times for our kids in crisis,” says Scott Fortnum, President and CEO of Children’s Health Foundation. “Children and youth with anxiety will avoid multiple waiting lists and receive specialized cognitive behavioural group therapy, found to be equally as effective as individual therapy but more efficient. Streamlining one portion of the program benefits all patients and staff across the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program.”

Children’s Hospital has taken on the longer-term care for youth mental health patients, previously provided at Parkwood Hospital. Children’s Hospital is now recognized as the primary provider and hub for child and adolescent mental health care in our region.

“Thank you, Bell, for being a leader in kids’ health care for 100 years. From your efforts in 1922 for our then newly built hospital, to your support in 2022 in helping to launch the GET-Care Clinic to connect kids to faster mental health care, we celebrate your dedication to the best possible care for children in need,” added Mr. Fortnum.

Children’s Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program needs community support to thrive! Donate today to help youth experiencing mental health challenges.

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