CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION OF GUELPH AND WELLINGTON
The Children’s Foundation’s Mental Health Initiative will be able to support many more local children and youth in our community thanks to the Guelph Giving Pledge. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington added mental health support funding to their Free to Grow program. Prior to COVID-19, it was estimated that one out of five youth suffered from mental health or substance use issues. Recent research data indicates that number is increasing significantly as children and youth are experiencing harm to their mental health due to the pandemic, including an increase in stress from social isolation and online learning. The Children’s Foundation is committed to addressing mental health and well-being now and into the future.
“The Children’s Foundation is extremely grateful for the Guelph Giving Pledge’s generous gift of $10,000 this year to help support our new mental health program,” says CEO Emma Rogers. “We have seen an increase in requests for this type of support, and introducing mental health into our Free to Grow program has been such an important step to continue supporting the full well-being of local children and youth. With the additional funds supported by the Guelph Giving Pledge, we will be able to not only reach and support more children and youth, but also continue to grow this program to better support their needs and the needs of their families.”
The Guelph Giving Pledge has committed to $10,000 in 2021 and a minimum of $20,000 in 2022 to the Free to Grow mental health support programs. As an organization, the Guelph Giving Pledge is committed to aiding organizations in the Guelph and Wellington area that are passionate about providing equal access to support programs that aid those who struggle with poverty and/or homelessness. The Children’s Foundation mental health support initiative championed by the Guelph Giving Pledge also includes partnerships with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), which refer children and youth in need of counselling, and Five Star Relationships, a psychotherapy clinic that provides the counselling to those in need.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to champion the CFGW’s mental health initiative,” says Jason Haupt, a founding member of the Guelph Giving Pledge. “Without a strong mental health foundation, it is very difficult to succeed in life. With the help of the Children’s Foundation and CMHA, our goal is to give all children and youth in our community access to the mental health resources required to build that foundation.”