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January 11, 2023

Sun Life pledges $3.7 million for youth mental health across Canada

Sun Life Logo (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)

Funding will support programs for marginalized youth, bringing Sun Life's total commitment to mental health to over $6.1 million

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2023 /CNW/ - Sun Life has announced a new milestone commitment of $3.7 million to support mental health programs for at-risk and marginalized youth across Canada. Over the next three years, this investment will help ten partner organizations expand their mental health services and programs, improve access to care, and reach more young Canadians. This brings Sun Life's total donations in support of mental health in Canada to more than $6.1 million.

The funding will support:

  • Atlantic Wellness – Establishing new bilingual mental health services for French-speaking youth across New Brunswick.
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation – Supporting Healing Pathways, a new group-based therapy program for Indigenous youth and adults across Ontario.
  • Carizon Family and Community Services – Strengthening the delivery of four psychoeducational groups to respond to youth and their families' mental health and well-being needs in Waterloo Region, Ontario.
  • Foundry BC – Supporting the growing network of free health and wellness services for youth and their caregivers, in-person and online, across British Columbia.
  • Lay-Up – Improving mental health outcomes for girls in Toronto's Neighbourhood Improvement Areas through the recently launched Sky High Basketball Program, which prioritizes Black and female youth of colour.
  • Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) and Michael Garron Hospital Foundation (MGHF) – Supporting youth who experience complex barriers to navigating services in the mental health and addictions systems, through the Transitional Youth Program in Toronto, Ontario.
  • MLSE Foundation – Launching a free, culturally-relevant program for communities who face barriers, providing a positive mental health intervention, while building on court skills through basketball.
  • OK2BME – Increasing support services for those who identify as part of the Rainbow Community and their families, in Waterloo Region, Ontario.
  • Unity Charity – Enhancing the Engage Program, which uses Hip Hop art forms as a catalyst for teaching mental health well-being and resiliency to underserved youth, to new locations in Halifax, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and the Greater Toronto Area.
  • VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation – Building youth resilience and connecting at-risk youth to mental health programs in Vancouver, British Columbia through the Supporting and Connecting Youth through Leadership and Resilience Program.

"The majority of mental health challenges begin during childhood or adolescence," said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Canada. "In particular, marginalized youth are disproportionately impacted and face greater challenges accessing relevant supports. That is why we are committed to helping young Canadians take action on mental health and access the tools and resources they need when they need it. This funding and the collective power of these organizations will help build a more resilient, inclusive, and healthier Canada."

Committed to building healthy, diverse communities, Sun Life strives to maximize its positive impact by taking steps to remove systemic barriers for Canadians. By partnering with organizations that improve mental health outcomes for marginalized youth, Sun Life is helping bring Canada one step closer to a sustainable tomorrow.  

In 2022, Sun Life announced a $1.1 million donation to support four organizations in Quebec that provide mental health services for families, workers, and marginalized communities. In 2021, Sun Life also committed $1 million to Kids Help Phone to expand Brighter Days: An Indigenous Wellness Program across the country.

Sun Life in the community

Sun Life is sustainability-driven, focusing on areas where it can have the greatest impact. By actively supporting the communities in which Sun Life lives and works, the organization can help build a positive environment for Clients, employees, advisors, and shareholders. Health and mental health are at the centre of our philanthropic support, with a focus on supporting programs and organizations that strive to empower Canadians to live their healthiest lives no matter where they are in their journey. Sun Life employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering and giving back to make life brighter for individuals and families across Canada.

Learn more about Sun Life in the community

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:

Katherine Green
Manager, Corporate Communications, Sun Life Canada
T. 548-255-1296


SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada