OTTAWA — 10/20/2020—Teams, colleagues, families and friends answered the call to help youth struggling with their mental health for this year’s RBC Race for the Kids. The pandemic meant runners and walkers couldn’t gather together but hundreds were out this weekend for the first RBC Global Virtual Event.
From September 14 to October 18 people were encouraged to be active and fundraise to improve youth mental health services around the globe. RBC Race for the Kids in Ottawa is one of 17 charitable races around the world. This past weekend, more than 26,000 participants took part in the Race. Together, they raised $5 million for 36 charity partners and the youth they support.
Locally 1,250 people participated in the RBC Race for the Kids and together with sponsors, raised $628,789 to support children, youth and families in Ottawa and the surrounding area who will benefit from mental health programs.
CHEO is seeing more and more children and young people struggling with their mental health. The demand for services including emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community care is increasing dramatically. COVID-19 has put even more of a strain on young people making events like RBC Race for the Kids even more important.
“There was a huge wave of support for @CHEO and youth mental health. Thank you to all race participants for showing how much you care,” said Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President, Personal and Commercial Banking at RBC and Race Chair. “It was truly inspiring to see colleagues, families, sports teams and friends throughout Eastern Ontario and as far as Barrie, Oshawa, the Muskokas, North Bay, Kingston, Cornwall, the Ottawa Valley come together virtually to ensure youth get the mental health support they need.”
“This year special events have all needed to make adjustments and switch to virtual platforms. RBC Race for the Kids was no exception but thanks to a dedicated team and a tremendous local effort, many youth mental health patients will reap the benefits of that commitment,” said Kevin Keohane, President and CEO of the CHEO Foundation. “We are grateful to our sponsors who are so dedicated to children and youth. Special thanks to RBC, Accora Village and Casino du Lac-Leamy who have made a tremendous impact in CHEO’s ability to provide mental health programs and services to children and youth where, and when, they need it most.”
Funds from RBC Race for the Kids will make an enormous difference at CHEO and throughout our community. The following two programs will benefit: CAPA — Choice and Partnership Approach and the One Call/One Click initiative.
CAPA decreases wait times and improves the mental health care CHEO delivers using methods taken from best business practices to streamline service delivery, as well as empower patients and families to be the stewards of their own mental health. Donor support for this program will help CHEO reach its goal of being able to see patients for their first and second appointments within weeks, not months, ensuring they receive the most effective and efficient care possible.
The needs of children and youth with complex mental health and addiction challenges are not being met. One Call/One Click, is a new initiative that will help Kids Come First create a single point of entry to Eastern Ontario’s system of care for mental health and addictions. The Kids Come First Health Team includes CHEO and 20 other providers of mental health and addiction services for children and youth in the region, as well as families and youth partners. One of its major goals is to create an integrated system that delivers faster, easier and better access to services and enables physicians and community pediatricians to focus on seeing children and youth in a timely manner. One Call/One Click does exactly that and is slated to start up in the spring of 2021.
For more information contact:
Director of Communications
Regional Director, Communications
RBC, Ontario North & East Region
Cell : (613) 291-3520
About RBC Race for the Kids:
RBC Race for the Kids started as a single event in 2009 and is now an exciting series of 17 charitable races taking place around the world, supporting children and youth-focused causes. Altogether, the series has raised more than CAD$57 million to date.
CHEO is a pediatric health and research centre providing outstanding family-centered patient care, pioneering breakthrough research and training the health care professionals of tomorrow.