Home Corporate Social Responsibility Sun Life commits over $1 million to youth mental health ahead of national awareness day

Sun Life commits over $1 million to youth mental health ahead of national awareness day

by HR News Canada
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In a substantial pledge aimed at boosting mental health support for at-risk youth, Sun Life has announced a three-year, $1,050,000 commitment to fund programs designed to aid marginalized young Canadians and their families. The announcement comes just before National Child and Youth Mental Health Day.

The funding will enhance services provided by two key partners, aiming to broaden access to mental health care and foster prevention strategies for approximately 1,300 youth.

“In Canada, 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin during childhood, disproportionately affecting marginalized youth,” stated Jacques Goulet, President of Sun Life Canada. He emphasized the company’s dedication to early intervention, ensuring that “youth have the tools, support systems and interventions they need early in life.”

The George Hull Centre for Children and Families will receive $320,000 to expand its Feeling Explorers program. This initiative, targeting grades one to three, uses distinctly Canadian content to teach skills vital for emotional and social development, expected to assist over 600 children and their families.

Susan Chamberlain, Executive Director at George Hull Centre, expressed gratitude for the support, which she said will “ensure hundreds of young children will become better equipped to manage their feelings and develop protective relationship skills.”

Additionally, Sun Life will provide $730,000 to Unsinkable for the expansion of its Unsinkable Youth program, a 12-week initiative led by youth for youth. The program promotes resilience, community connections, and a safe space for personal storytelling.

Hailey Hechtman, Executive Director of Unsinkable, praised the contribution, noting it will enable more young people to “navigate their mental wellness path” through a program “designed by and for them.”

This pledge is part of Sun Life’s broader efforts to combat mental health issues, which include investing in virtual care and support services such as Lumino Health and the Mental Health Coach program. These initiatives are designed to connect Canadians with health professionals and provide crucial resources for both physical and mental well-being.

Sun Life’s ongoing commitment to mental health has included $4.7 million donated in 2023 for youth mental health in marginalized communities across Canada, alongside previous multimillion-dollar investments in Quebec and partnerships with organizations like Kids Help Phone.

As Sun Life continues to support health-focused community initiatives, its commitment remains firmly rooted in creating healthier, more sustainable futures for Canadians, particularly those most vulnerable.

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