Empowering Youth Mental Health: Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Grant

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Youth Assisting Youth (YAY) is so fortunate and thankful for our 2022 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). This grant marks a significant milestone for YAY, helping us to address the ongoing, long-term mental health impact created by the COVID-19 pandemic through the expansion of our important LifeLine Program.

With this critical support, our LifeLine Program now offers formal 1:1 Mental Health Counseling and Mental Health Self-Care Training to our volunteer youth mentors, mentees, and their families. The delivery of mental health supports for our clients is crucial in supporting their holistic well-being, while also helping to strengthen our mentoring relationships and the impact that we achieve.

LifeLine offers counseling and wellness services that are tailored to the specific needs of our clients, whether a mentee, ages 6 to 15, a volunteer youth mentor, ages 16-29, or a parent / guardian. In addition to individual counseling sessions, LifeLine provides Mental Health Self-Care training workshops for both mentors and mentees, empowering them with valuable knowledge and tools to strengthen their mental well-being and build a foundation of self-care.

Katharine Bambrick, CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, highlighted the significance of investing in the non-profit sector to foster stronger and more resilient organizations. Through the Resilient Communities Fund, the Ontario Trillium Foundation aims to support non-profit organizations like YAY in delivering essential projects that contribute to community well-being and resilience.

This grant not only boosts YAY’s capacity to fulfill its mission of creating life-changing mentoring experiences, but also highlights its commitment to promoting mental health, wellness, and resilience among newcomer and underserved youth. By integrating trauma-informed practices and fostering inclusivity, we strive to ensure that our programs remain meaningful and relevant to the evolving needs of the communities we serve.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation continues to serve as a vital partner in YAY’s journey to empowering children and youth through mentorship and support. Through initiatives like the Resilient Communities Fund, OTF continues to play a crucial role in supporting the economic recovery of non-profit organizations and fostering community resilience in the wake of challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank You Ontario Trillium Foundation and Government of Ontario! Your support has enabled a bright new chapter in our mission of cultivating the leaders of tomorrow through peer mentorship. We are now poised to make an even greater impact on the lives of the children, youth and families that we serve. Thank you!

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