RBC and CHEO celebrate over $2 million raised for youth mental health

OTTAWA — 10/18/2021 – This past weekend the Ottawa community came out to support youth mental health in the RBC Race for the Kids event raising $662,123 and bringing the five-year total to over $2 million dollars. This will go a long way to help children, youth and their families struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

RBC Race for the Kids in Ottawa in support of CHEO is one of 35 youth charities participating in 19 countries around the globe.

For the past five years there has been a marked increase in children and youth presenting with mental health issues at CHEO. The demand for services including emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community care has increased dramatically. Last year, four percent of all Emergency Room visits were for mental health reasons. That number is now six percent, which means approximately 1,000 more children presenting at the Emergency Room. The number of kids coming to the Emergency Room with suicidal ideation has risen by 53 percent. These numbers showcase a critical need making funds from RBC Race for the Kids more important than ever before.

“Thanks to everyone who took part in the race. You really showed you care. It’s clear. Youth mental health is a cause that’s close to your hearts,” 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 North Bay, Kingston, Cornwall, and the Ottawa Valley come together virtually to ensure youth get the mental health support they need.”

“We are so grateful to our generous community for standing up and showing their support for youth struggling with mental health issues,” said Dan Champagne, Vice-President, Corporate and Community Development with the CHEO Foundation. “Funds raised through RBC Race for the Kids will ensure that children, youth and their families have somewhere to turn. CHEO staff see the demand and with the support from RBC and Accora Village, we can make a real difference.”

Funds from RBC Race for the Kids will have an enormous impact for CHEO and throughout our community. Two programs will benefit directly: 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 now have another place to turn. 1Call1Click is a new initiative that enabled Kids Come First to 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. It is 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. Since its launch in June, over 150 families have benefitted from the services provided.

Photo caption: L-R: Andrew Staniforth, RBC Vice-President, Commercial Financial Services, Rideau Lakes & Valley and Race Co-chair; Marjolaine Hudon, RBC Regional President, Race Chair and CHEO Foundation Board Member; Kevin Keohane, President and CEO, CHEO Foundation and Louise Summers, RBC Regional Vice-President, Ottawa Central and Race Co-chair.



For more information contact:

Katrina Bussey
Director of Communications
CHEO Foundation
613 738-3969


Lucie Caron
Regional Director, Communications
RBC, Ontario North & East Region
[email protected]
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 charitable races taking place around the world, supporting 35 children and youth-focused causes. Altogether, the series has raised more than CAD$65 million to date.


About CHEO:

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.

Upcoming CHEO Events

There are so many different events that happen in support of CHEO and for that we are most grateful. Please check out our special events calendar so you can join us and help make a difference. Feel free to become involved as a volunteer or organize your own event.