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RBC Announces $4.4 Million In Donations To Support Children's Mental Health Across Canada

Funding directed to a range of counselling, intervention and anti-stigma programs

TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Today the RBC Children's Mental Health Project marked Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada by announcing $4.4 million in total grants to be shared by 10 organizations nationwide. The funding covers a wide range of programs, such as a national 24/7 phone and online counselling service for kids, a program for new Canadian and refugee children and families, as well as anti-stigma and suicide prevention programs aimed at teens.

"One-in-five Canadians will experience mental illness during their lifetime, with many of these disorders beginning in childhood or adolescence," said Jamie Anderson, deputy chair of RBC Capital Markets and executive champion of the RBC Children's Mental Health Project. "Most families don't have a plan until they have to cope with a mental health struggle and it can be a scramble for parents and caregivers to find information they trust and the proper services to help. We hope that this donation is a step towards making those services more accessible."

In a recent poll by RBC, the majority of Canadian parents (53 per cent) admit that finding information they can trust on the topic of children's mental health is a nightmare and over half (58 per cent) feel overwhelmed by the volume of information available.

"Today, we are privileged to invest in 10 organizations that provide much-needed information and resources to help parents, families, kids and teens, in addition to the support we have given to other community children's mental health programs throughout 2012," Anderson added.

A national grant of $1 million will go to Kids Help Phone, Canada's only nationwide service that provides professional, individualized, confidential, bilingual, free counselling, information and referrals directly to young people from coast to coast to coast. The grant will allow Kids Help Phone to ramp up its delivery of a Canadian first: a live chat/online service for kids who prefer online chatting over talking on the phone.

"I would like to thank RBC for its leadership and dedication to improving the mental health of young people across this country," said Sharon Wood, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone. "Kids don't have to feel confused, ashamed or alone. Kids Help Phone is always there, no matter the concern. But we can't do it alone. This important partnership with RBC will help empower kids in need to reach out to our professional counsellors when and how they need us most."

Other grants announced today
  • IWK Health Centre ( Nova Scotia): $750,000. This grant will support the development of a suicide prevention program for youth that will be made available to a network of therapists and care providers across the Maritimes.
  • Hôpital Charles- LeMoyne ( Quebec): $300,000. This grant will help the centre provide acute care services to children three to 17 years of age who are suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety and attention deficit disorder.
  • Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health: $300,000 . This grant will help the "Do It For Daron" national suicide prevention initiative launch an internet TV series, encouraging young people to speak openly about mental health problems.
  • Oolagen ( Toronto): $50,000. This accredited mental health centre provides the only city-wide walk-in counselling service for families, open five days a week. The clinic is providing parents an alternative solution to accessing mental health services.
  • Earlscourt-Creche Child Development Institute ( Toronto): $50,000. This grant supports the SNAP Girls Connection Program. The program effectively addresses the needs of girls from ethnically diverse communities experiencing behavioural and emotional problems with a goal of keeping them healthy and in school.
  • London Health Sciences Centre: $1,300,000 . This grant will help the Centre partner with the University of Western Ontario to provide mental health care and early intervention, especially in the areas of trauma and services for new Canadians and refugees.
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association ( Saskatchewan): $100,000. This grant will help the Friends for Life program provide education on suicide to high school students, teachers and community members.
  • Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation ( Alberta): $500,000. Anxiety is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health illnesses in children. This grant will support Wired! A Mental Health Program for Anxious Teens, providing timely, evidence-based care to youth facing anxiety-related crises.
  • Covenant House ( British Columbia): $50,000. This grant will support the Inner City Youth Mental Health Project, with in-house mental health clinicians providing youth with access to immediate on-site treatment.

While RBC is highlighting these 10 donations today, the company has also donated to a range of other community-based and regional organizations for children's mental health programs throughout 2012.

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