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September 17, 2020

Nearly 70% of young Canadians say their mental health has been negatively impacted by COVID-19

Sun Life commits $10,000 to Foundry Kelowna's Mobile
Health & Wellness Unit, providing mental health and health care services to young people

KELOWNA, BC, Sept. 17, 2020 /CNW/ - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the mental and financial health of Canadians, a Sun Life survey indicates that 68 per cent of young Canadians (age 18-34) say their mental health has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The survey also highlights that 71 per cent of British Columbia residents report negative affects on their mental health because of the pandemic.

Mental health is one of the key health concerns of our time and Sun Life is committed to building a more resilient Canada, where Canadians are empowered to take charge of their mental health journey. As the company works to address the mental health crisis, Sun Life is committing $10,000 to Foundry Kelowna's Mobile Health & Wellness Unit to serve youth in the community who require mental health support.

"We are excited to be working with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna, a very important United Way partner and operator of Foundry Kelowna, a wellness centre where young people can find hope, help and support when and where they need it," said Craig Pelletier, District Director, Kelowna, British Columbia, Sun Life. "Working closely with advisors every day, I see first hand the impact that the pandemic is having on young Canadians. By working together, we're helping to remove barriers and accessibility gaps for youth and their families so they can access the mental health supports they need."

A first of its kind in British Columbia, the vision for Foundry Kelowna's Mobile Health & Wellness Unit is to provide primary care, mental health counselling and youth navigation/peer support services to young people and their families in West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and Lake Country. With over half of British Columbia residents (56%) citing fear of contracting COVID-19 as a factor negatively impacting their mental health, this mobile unit will provide safe connections for young people to the broader integrated services at Foundry Kelowna and other youth services within each community.

"Working together with Sun Life will ensure that we have the financial resources we need to provide a sustainable and reliable opportunity for youth to have safe, non-judgemental care and support," said Shelagh Turner, Executive Director, CMHA Kelowna. "Providing mobile mental health and health care services to youth where they are – in their space – is a significant undertaking and Sun Life is helping us make it possible."  

Helping people live healthier lives is a key focus area of Sun Life's sustainability strategy. By focusing on empowering Canadians to act, bridging the gap between awareness and action, Sun Life is removing barriers to effective treatment and recovery.

About the survey
The survey is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 24 and July 27, 2020. A sample of 1,001 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel aged 18 and older. The data for Canadians surveyed was weighted to ensure the sample's regional, age, and gender composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,122 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:   
Alessandra Nigro
Director, Corporate Communications
T. 416-979-4884

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.