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Honouring Mental Health awareness week across Canada through local grants

May 3, 2021

The need for mental health services has increased exponentially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians have experienced increased stress, anxiety and the negative impact of isolation.  Charitable organizations have had to pivot their approaches to use new tools and resources to support the well-being of Canadians, and have required significant funding to do so. 

The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, in partnership with the thirteen Canadian TELUS Community Boards, is proud to continue to assist these organizations through funding at the local, provincial and national levels.     

“The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation has made it possible for our youth to stay connected in this new virtual world – connectivity in learning, connectivity in community and connectivity in mental health supports” says Lydia Sai-Chew, CEO of Lumenous in the GTA.

Through grants and the power of technology, we have ensured that organizations from coast to coast have been able to offer their services to local communities in need. Examples  include online youth programs through GTA-based Lumenous, connecting seniors through the Kerby Centre in Calgary, and focusing on the mental health of frontline workers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

By funding programs like ECHO “Coping with COVID” at Toronto’s CAMH, front line health care workers are able to gain resources and support as they work through COVID-19. Thanks to a $150,000 TELUS Friendly Future Foundation grant to CAMH, over 1000 health care workers will be able to participate in the new virtual training programs.

"The global COVID-19 situation has been an unprecedented challenge for me, both personally and professionally. The ECHO Coping with COVID  Program has proven invaluable for not only building my resiliency, but fostering a sense of communion in knowing that so many other disciplines are going through the same things that I am."

Participant, "ECHO Coping with COVID" at CAMH

Working alongside dedicated charitable organizations from across the country, we’re able to support our local communities at a time when it is needed most - and when mental health support is even more vital. In the midst of COVID-19, we’re helping organizations find digital solutions so they can maintain their community support efforts as demand for their services grows. YWCA Canada was one of the organizations we supported with a $100,000 grant, which helped to ensure that women and youth in need have somewhere to turn to and the technology to connect to the mental health resources they need. 

The donation from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation will unlock opportunities for the women we serve by enabling remote counselling and empower youth through online educational programming.” says YWCA Canada CEO Maya Roy.

Most recently, through a national grant, JACK.ORG received funding to provide over 100,000 vulnerable youth across Canada with access to a free mental health education digital training course. Through our funding, youth will be able to increase their mental health literacy and safely support others who are struggling with their mental health. 

The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation has supported over 1300 organizations since its inception in 2018 and has provided close to 20 million dollars in funding for local charities. More than one third of our grants have enabled the power of technology to deliver critical mental health programs in the communities where we live, work and serve.