Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and RBC partner to help youth with mental health issues
TORONTO, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian Olympians, RBC employees, Sunnybrook staff and members of the community came together today to help launch the first RBC Run for the Kids event in Toronto. The RBC Run for the Kids will take place over the weekend of September 21 to 22, 2013. The event will support the creation of the Family Navigation Project, within Sunnybrook's leading Youth Psychiatry Program.
"As many as two million Canadian youth struggle with a mental health or addictions problem, and yet only one in five will get specialized treatment," said Dr. Anthony Levitt, co-chair of the Family Navigation Project and a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "This is in large part because families don't know where to go or how to find the services that their children need. The Family Navigation Project will give youth with mental health issues and their families a place to start and a path to follow."
A unique weekend event
The RBC Run for the Kids takes place over the entire weekend of September 21 to 22 and includes three different run components - a 5K run/walk, a 15K challenge and a 25K race - all in and around the Sunnybrook neighbourhood. Each component is represented by a different colour, something that was reinforced at today's launch as teams of runners, led by RBC Olympians Greg Westlake, Kevin Rempel, Mikael Kingsbury and Jennifer Botterill, dressed in blue, green and yellow, gathered on the Sunnybrook grounds.
- The event's 5K 'participate' run/walk - represented by the colour blue - is open to all ages, individuals and teams.
- The 15K 'get moving' challenge - represented by the colour green - encourages youth to be active, an important part of physical and mental health, by having them pledge to run a minimum of 15 km, with the final five kilometres being run at the event.
- The event's 25K 'go further' race - represented by the colour yellow - enables runners to challenge themselves by going beyond the half-marathon distance without having to run a full marathon.
"We understand the toll that mental health issues can take on children and families, as well as our workplaces, schools and communities," said Jamie Anderson, Head of Corporate Strategy & Development, RBC and Executive Champion, RBC Children's Mental Health Project. "Through the RBC Children's Mental Health Project, we are pleased to provide funding to critical initiatives like Sunnybrook's Family Navigation Project through the RBC Run for the Kids."
"We've set our sights high for the RBC Run for the Kids event, with a fundraising goal of $800,000," said Dr. Jon Dellandrea, President & CEO of Sunnybrook Foundation. "Achieving our goal will ensure this important program is up and running and helping youth in the Greater Toronto Area by the end of 2013. We are looking to our donors and the community to rally around the event and support this important cause."
Supporting an important cause
Funds raised through the RBC Run for the Kids will support the creation of the Family Navigation Project. This is a first-of-its-kind program in Canada to help families navigate the complex web of mental health services, ensuring youth get quick access to the right care, and meeting the needs of families with youth seeking mental health services. The Project aims to reach at least 1,000 families annually, and ideally, it will become a model other treatment centres can follow.
"At Sunnybrook, we are committed to providing the best care possible for youth with mood and anxiety disorders, and our research in this area helps shape best practices across the country," said Dr. Barry McLellan, President & CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
To register or find out more information about the RBC Run for the Kids event visit www.rbcrunforthekids.ca.
About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1.2 million patients the hospital cares for each year through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns and adults, offering specialized rehabilitation and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. The Hospital also has a unique and national leading program for the care of Canada's war veterans. For more information about how Sunnybrook is inventing the future of health care please visit us online at www.sunnybrook.ca.
About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 49 other countries. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2012 - 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.