MONTREAL -- The Bell Let’s Talk initiative will be extended to 2025, as Bell announces an increase in its total funding commitment for mental health to $150 million.

 “We’ve made great strides over the last 10 years, but the need for action in Canadian mental health remains,” said Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “In our first decade, Bell Let’s Talk helped create an unprecedented conversation about mental illness as Canadians worked together to reduce the stigma.”

Monday, Bell and the Montreal-based Graham Boeckh Foundation also unveiled a $10 million partnership to support and integrate youth mental health and wellness services across Canada.

“Money is key, but when you want to take on mental illness, talking about it is important too," noted Quebec Premier François Legault. "If it’s difficult for an adult to ask for help, imagine how hard it is for a child or a teenager.”

The first donation from the partnership will support Aire ouverte centres across Quebec. They will receive $1 million a year to support existing programs and launch new hub sites.

“There is a critical need to make mental health supports more readily available to young people, and the Integrated Youth Services approach is a proven model developed with youth and community involvement from the ground up,” said Mary Deacon, chairperson of Bell Let’s Talk.

Bell Let’s Talk was first launched in 2010 as an initial five-year initiative with a $50-million donation. It has since resulted in more than $100 million in funding from the company.