$1.5 Million Raised To Support Community Mental Illness Programs

Feb. 10, 2010

Canada Post is proud to announce more than $1.5 million dollars was raised for the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health during 2009. The money raised will be used by the Foundation to support non-profit, community-based organizations that provide support and care for people coping with mental illness, and their families.“Canadians said ‘yes’, in a very meaningful way, when we asked if they would support front-line care and support for people coping with mental health issues,” said Moya Greene, President and CEO of Canada Post. “Even in these uncertain economic times, our customers and Canada Post employees stepped up to support the cause. That means we can provide new support for some of the 7 million Canadians challenged by mental health problems this year – and for that, I’m extremely proud and grateful.”

Almost half the money raised in 2009 came in contributions of a dollar or two from customers in response to requests from our employees at post offices across the country last fall. Canada Post also issued its second fundraising Mental Health stamp. A dollar from the sale of each booklet of 10 stamps supports the Foundation. Sales of the fundraising stamp contributed $274,000 to the overall total, while customers donated more than $700,000. In addition, Canada Post’s employees this year pledged more than $160,000 to the Foundation through a ‘Dime a Day’ campaign, which Canada Post matched on a one-time basis. Going forward, the employee pledges will give the Foundation a permanent funding base of more than $300,000 every year through payroll deductions. Employee fundraisers and support from Canada Post customers and suppliers put the fundraising campaign over its $1.5 million goal.

Valerie Pringle, award-winning broadcaster and Foundation trustee, praised Canada Post’s efforts. “It’s imperative we continue to fight the stigma associated with mental illness, while at the same time support those needing help. Canada Post’s efforts in this area are truly remarkable.” Ms. Pringle knows first-hand the challenges of a family facing mental illness. Her daughter, Catherine, now 29 years old, suffered from debilitating panic and anxiety attacks. With treatment and support, Catherine is now doing well and is able to cope with her illness. “Being able to turn to a community organization to get help for my daughter and support for our family, was very important.”

“The outstanding fundraising efforts of Canada Post and its employees means that, in its first two years, the Foundation will have been able to provide $2.5 million in grants to community organizations across Canada,” says James Roche, Chairman of the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health. Appoximately $1 million in donations was awarded to 19 non-profit organizations to deliver front-line care and other programming for mental health consumers, with an additional $1.5 million to be distributed in 2010. “The demand is huge and the need for help is almost without measure. In a small but very meaningful way, the Foundation is having a direct impact on the mental health landscape in Canada.”

“The very timely and important support from the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health has transformed our ability to treat children and youth who are experiencing distress or psychological difficulties as a result of a traumatic incident,” says Karen Engel, Executive Director, Yorktown Family Services in Toronto. “By introducing the Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behaviour Therapy model, paid for by the grant received from the Foundation, client treatments that routinely required six to eight months of counselling are being completed in twelve weeks. For a recovering child, that’s a huge difference.” Learn more about the other 18 grant recipient organizations at canadapost.ca/foundation.

Canada Post announced mental health as its Cause of Choice in 2007, and the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health was launched in June 2008.The mental health stamp remains available at post offices nationwide and donations can be made online anytime at canadapost.ca/foundation.

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