Youth Mental Health Charities in Canada
October 10, 2023
9 min read
October 10 marks World Mental Health Day—a day that may resonate with many of us.
The area of mental health holds a prominent place in the charity world, but there are many nuances that exist beneath the overarching umbrella of mental health, each with a unique face, a unique story, and unique needs.
The range of Canadian charities is as intricate and varied as the challenges they address. The key to pinpointing which charity to support? Reflect and refine. Reflect on the impact you want to make as a donor, then refine your focus and specify the geographic region you’re interested in. This streamlines your search to identify an organization that resonates with your values and objectives.
Take, for example, youth mental wellness—it’s a specific area within the broader mental health landscape. And within that subsection, you can explore further, targeting issues like PTSD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, suicidality, etc. From there, you can zoom in even further to pinpoint the geographic region you’re interested in supporting.
The key takeaway? Narrowing your focus and reflecting on what makes your chosen cause meaningful to you will reduce the number of charities to consider. Once you identify the charities that resonate with your values and objectives, you can dive into the program details to guide your giving decisions.
Youth Mental Health in Canada
Now, to the heart of the matter. According to Canada Public Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults aged 15-34. Furthermore, statistics from the Canadian Mental Health Association reveal that a staggering 75% of young Canadians struggle to access the mental health care and support they desperately need.
These alarming statistics come as no surprise to Dr. Alex DiGiacomo or Robb Nash—both have been sounding the alarm, creating innovative activations to increase awareness and raise funds through their Giving Groups. While approaching the cause from unique perspectives, they share a compassionate commitment to bolstering the mental well-being of young Canadians.
Dr. DiGiacomo and Robb Nash took the time to research and carefully select the charities that would benefit from their campaigns and fundraising efforts. In honour of World Mental Health Day, we’re sharing the charities they chose to help guide those who might be unsure of where to start.
Keep in mind—this list isn’t a prescription. It’s a compass, inviting you to explore the array of Canadian registered charities.
Robb Nash & Operation Overcome
Robb Nash is a man with a mission, using music and storytelling to engage teens and address topics like suicide, addiction, self-harm and anxiety. Championed by The Robb Nash Project and proudly powered by Charitable Impact, Operation Overcome unites those working toward a common purpose—to uplift and nurture youth mental health across Canada. Together, they’re on a mission to fight loneliness and build a community of support.
“As someone who personally struggled to find resources when I needed help with my mental health and addiction issues, I knew that we needed to use our platform and connections to bridge the gap between the hurting and the help that is available.”
Robb Nash’s Charity List
Robb Nash Project: The Robb Nash Project is a unique and immersive concert experience engaging youth in mental health discussions through music and storytelling, zeroing in on schools and reaching young hearts and minds when they need it most.
Kids Help Phone (KHP): Kids Help Phone offers a wide range of support including a 24/7 crisis line that provides immediate, nationwide support through seasoned crisis counsellors, as well as professional counselling, psychoeducation, and much more.
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA): The CMHA is a federated charity, meaning they are a collective of organizations from across the country. Their mission focuses on community-based support services, mental health education awareness, and advocacy for policies that enhance the quality of life for those with psychiatric disabilities, their families, and the community. CMHA has 70 local branches across over 330 communities.
Foundry BC: Foundry BC is a province-wide network that offers integrated services with a focus on creating accessibility. They provide mental health care, substance use support, physical and sexual health services, peer and family support, and social services. There are 16 local Foundry centers in British Columbia.
Dr. Alex DiGiacomo & Break the Cycle
Dr. Alex DiGiacomo is a clinical psychologist specializing in child and youth anxiety. Her dedication to effective treatments contrasts the challenge of mental health care accessibility, and she took a leap of faith to be a catalyst for change.
Dr. DiGiacomo spent the summer of 2023 cycling across Canada for her #breakthecycle campaign to expose the mental health care accessibility crisis. She selected a charity for every province that she pedalled her way through, raising funds and awareness throughout her trek.
“The truth is that accessibility is a huge barrier for the majority of families, and we’re only seeing a fraction of the kids who desperately need help. So many parents are lost. Their kids are not doing well, and they can’t access care.”
Dr. Alex DiGiacomo’s Charity List
British Columbia Youth Mental Health Charities
Variety BC: Dedicated to supporting children with special needs and their families, Variety BC provides essential funding for equipment, therapies, education, and various services to enhance the lives of children facing physical, developmental, or other challenges.
Through their child grants, Variety BC ensures access to clinical counselling for children and youth dealing with mental health challenges, focusing on helping kids build resilience, so they can not only face life’s hurdles but also thrive.
Kelty Mental Health: Operating as part of BC Children’s Hospital since 2008, the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre offers comprehensive mental health services, including addressing mental health challenges in children and youth, navigating the mental health system, and substance use information for families throughout BC. They also provide guidance on eating disorders and disordered eating for all ages.
Alberta Youth Mental Health Charity
Casa Mental Health: CASA Mental Health delivers mental health services to Albertans aged three to 18, along with their families. Their team of mental health professionals are trauma experts committed to giving hope to children, youth and families throughout Alberta. This includes assessment and treatment for up to 4,000 children, youth and their families each year, from community outreach settings to intensive treatment programs.
Saskatchewan Youth Mental Health Charity
SCEP Centre: SCEP CENTRE supports children with complex needs through their intensive, early intervention preschool program, as well as offering guidance and support for their parents and/or caregivers.
Manitoba Youth Mental Health Charity
Variety Manitoba: Variety Manitoba provides essential funding for equipment, therapies, education, and various services to enhance the lives of children facing physical, developmental, or other challenges. Through their child grants, Variety BC ensures access to clinical counselling for children and youth dealing with mental health challenges, focusing on helping kids build resilience, so they can not only face life’s hurdles but also thrive.
Ontario Youth Mental Health Charity
Jack.org: Jack.org is a Canadian youth mental health organization that empowers young people to talk openly about mental health, reduces stigma, and offers support through various programs and initiatives. They work to empower youth to have open conversations about mental health, access appropriate support when needed, and contribute to positive changes in how mental health is perceived and addressed in society.
Quebec Youth Mental Health Charity
Foundation Jeunes en Tete: Foundation Jeunes en Tête is a Canadian charity that’s all about youth mental health. They work to break down the stigma around mental health issues and offer support to young people. Through workshops, campaigns, and events, they aim to boost awareness and understanding of mental health among youth.
New Brunswick Youth Mental Health Charity
Gentle Path Counseling Services (The Crows Nest): With locations in Saint John and Southern New Brunswick, their mission is to provide accessible counselling and support. They offer fully subsidized and partly subsidized one-on-one counselling services for low-income families, children, and adults, totalling hundreds of hours of support. Additionally, a weekly codependency support group has been a reliable resource for those in need. Their overarching goal is to create an inclusive space for all, regardless of financial means
Nova Scotia Youth Mental Health Charity
CMHA Nova Scotia: The Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division (CMHA NS) offers evidence-based programs, training, and navigation support to promote well-being in Nova Scotia. These programs are free and accessible to all residents, ensuring that individuals and families never face their mental health journey alone.