Driver David Henry becomes face of trucking for Bell Let’s Talk Campaign

by Sonia Straface

TORONTO, Ont. – David Henry, truck driver for REK Express has become the latest ambassador for the popular Bell Let’s Talk Campaign that promotes mental health awareness and fights to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The Bell Let’s Talk program began in September 2010 in hopes of jump-starting a national conversation about the effects of mental health. It has become one of the country’s most recognized mainstream mental health initiatives. To date, through the initiative, Bell has donated more than $93 million to mental health programs.

Henry is featured in national television commercials and billboards, and his story, which outlines his own personal struggles with mental illness and suicidal thoughts, is posted on the official Bell Let’s Talk website.

Henry has been a driver for more than 30 years, and throughout his career he suffered one too many accidents that have led to significant injuries, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He is already a known mental health advocate in the trucking community as he’s spoken at Trucking HR Canada’s Gearing Up for Mental Health Symposium last fall about his personal experiences with mental illness.

According to Henry, he became a Bell Let’s Talk campaign ambassador through the help of Trucking HR Canada.

“I was talking to Angela Splinter (CEO of Trucking HR Canada) and she said, ‘So, just had a phone call from Bell Let’s Talk and they’re looking for a trucking spokesperson, would you be interested?’ And so it’s really all because of her, and the work Trucking HR Canada does for mental health awareness,” Henry said.

Henry added that he’s been getting a lot of positive feedback from other drivers and friends who have seen him in the commercials.

“I’ve had friends from across the coast, saying they’ve seen me on TV commercials, and even some that has seen my billboard in the GTA,” he added.

Henry said it feels surreal to be an ambassador, as he’s been a fan of the campaign for years.

“It’s so hard to put into words,” he said. “It is my story that’s out there, but I couldn’t be here without all the people that have helped me and worked with me over the years, and hopefully my story will help someone else out there. I am thankful to know that in trucking, we are more open to talking about mental illness and mental health. It’s been a long time coming.”

You can read Henry’s story on the Bell Let’s Talk website here, and watch his video story below.

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