HBC Foundation Partners with CAMH to Help Fight Youth Mental Illness

HBC Foundation x CAMH Game Changers mental illness program

The CAMH Game Changers program is designed to help young Canadians feel more comfortable talking about mental health, seeking help for themselves or supporting friends in need.

It’s time to change the game when it comes to mental health awareness. The HBC Foundation is teaming up with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and former NHL goalie, Olympian and mental health advocate Corey Hirsch to get the word out and educate Canadian students on mental illness.

How they’re doing it: The HBC Foundation, as part of its ongoing commitment to support mental health, has granted $1.25 million to CAMH in support of the Game Changers program over the next three years. What is the Game Changers program? It aims to reach students across Canada with the help of Hirsch, who will raise awareness in high schools, clubs and sport associations. Hirsh has spoken openly about his experience with mental illness and believes that early intervention is critical to preventing mental illness in adults.

“We want to meet young people where they are,” said Hirsch, who has spoken out about his own history of mental illness. “I know from personal experience that the right conversation at the right time can make all the difference. We don’t pretend to know all the answers, but with this program we can help young people ask the right questions.”

CAMH research has found that self-reported levels of psychological distress have spiked in recent years to record levels among girls and boys. Despite these rising numbers, almost one in three students say they have wanted to talk about their own mental health concerns but did not know where to turn.

“The support of the HBC Foundation means that more young Canadians will learn how they can support their own wellness and resilience,” said CAMH Foundation CEO Deborah Gillis. “We’re so grateful for HBC’s commitment to this very important program.”