CAMH and HBC Foundation to promote mental health awareness for young Canadians
$1.25 million ‘Game Changers’ mental health program will reach youth across the country over the next three years
TORONTO – The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and HBC Foundation, the charitable arm of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) are pleased to announce a joint collaboration on a national mental health awareness program for young Canadians. The HBC Foundation, as part of its ongoing commitment to support mental health, granted $1.25 million to CAMH in support of the Game Changers program over the next three years.
Developed by Canada’s leading mental health hospital, Game Changers is a mental health program designed to help young Canadians feel more comfortable talking about mental health, seeking help for themselves, or supporting friends in need.
Game Changers will aim to reach students across Canada with the help of former NHL goalie, Olympian and mental health advocate Corey Hirsch, who will raise awareness in high schools, clubs and sport associations. Hirsh has spoken openly about his experience with mental illness and believes that early intervention is critical to preventing mental illness in adults.
“We want to meet young people where they are,” said Hirsch, who has spoken out about his own history of mental illness. “I know from personal experience that the right conversation at the right time can make all the difference. We don’t pretend to know all the answers, but with this program we can help young people ask the right questions.”
Game Changers features an interactive digital hub that includes:
- A conversation starter guide, adapted for youth who want to open a dialogue about mental health
- A self-care toolkit
- A resource guide designed to help young Canadians and their parents identify early signs of mental illness and seek help for themselves, friends and loved ones
- An online evaluation form to collect feedback from youth.
“Helping raise mental health awareness for Canadians of all ages is one of HBC Foundation’s core priorities,” said Alison Coville, President, Hudson’s Bay. “We are proud to support CAMH and the Game Changers program with a $1.25 million grant that will help us positively impact the mental wellness of Canadian youth.”
While the teen years have always been a vulnerable period for mental health challenges, CAMH research has found that self-reported levels of psychological distress have spiked in recent years to record levels among girls and boys. Despite these rising numbers, almost one in three students say they have wanted to talk about their own mental health concerns, but did not know where to turn.
“The support of the HBC Foundation means that more young Canadians will learn how they can support their own wellness and resilience”, said CAMH Foundation CEO Deborah Gillis. “We’re so grateful for HBC’s commitment to this very important program.”
ABOUT THE CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit camh.ca or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN HBC FOUNDATION
Established in Canada in 2005, the Canadian HBC Foundation is the charitable arm of Hudson’s Bay Company, a diversified global retailer and the oldest company in North America. The foundation is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to making mental health a priority in every community by increasing understanding and improving access to care through the HEADFIRST program.
Media Relations, CAMH
416-535-8501 ext. 36663
PR Director, Hudson’s Bay