The Slaight Family Foundation in Toronto has awarded grants totalling C$30 million ($23.8 million) in support of mental health services in Canada, Samaritanmag.com reports.
Grants were awarded to nineteen organizations providing mental health care, including specialized programs for vulnerable LGBTQI+ individuals, French-speaking Black youth, Indigenous youth, children with disabilities and their families, seniors, and individuals with substance use disorders. The SickKids Foundation was awarded C$10 million ($7.9 million) to nearly double the number of beds in its mental health inpatient unit, while Kids Help Phone will receive C$1.5 million ($1.2 million) to launch Canada’s first national bilingual e-mental health service for Black youth, which will offer life-saving support, promote mental health, build resilience, and provide referrals to community-based services.
Other recipients include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in support of a twenty-five-bed unit for youth between the ages of 16 and 25; the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, which will provide inclusion training to help mental health professionals improve care for LGBTQI+ people; Indspire, which will expand its mental health, addiction, and resiliency resources and supports for Indigenous students; SPRINT Senior Care, which will launch a mobile program to bring essential health and wellness programs to isolated seniors’ doorsteps; and the University Health Network, in support of a clinic that will integrate physical and mental health by providing follow-up care for patients receiving mental health, medical, or surgical services.
“We know COVID-19 has exacerbated mental health issues across the country, putting huge stress on our hospitals and organizations providing services,” said Slaight Foundation president and CEO Gary Slaight in a statement. “We hope this support will help alleviate some of these stresses, reduce hospital visits, provide additional services for those in need of mental health support and develop new models of care and service for others to emulate.”