Helping Youth in Crisis - RBC and Sunnybrook Step Forward for Youth Mental Health

Registration now open for fourth annual RBC Race for the Kids


TORONTO, April 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Youth with mental health challenges are in crisis and they struggle to find support.  According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, emergency department visits for mental disorders among children and youth increased by 45 per cent over the last seven years.  As rates continue to rise, it is vital to connect youth to the mental health services they so desperately need.

And that's why today RBC and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are proud to launch the fourth annual RBC Race for the Kids, benefitting the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook to assist youth and their families. Taking place at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto on Saturday, September 17, 2016, it is the third largest running event of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area. Registration is now open and competitors have a choice of completing a 5K walk/run, a 7K run or a 15K run.

"Parents told us for years how complicated it can be to access care for their kids with mental health or addiction issues," said Dr. Anthony Levitt, medical director of the Family Navigation Project and chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook. "They wanted a service that would match the needs of the youth and their family with the right professional or program.   That's why the Family Navigation Project was created and the RBC Race for the Kids has helped bring the Project to reality."

Initiated by parents, the Family Navigation Project supports youth ages 13 to 26 and their families. Each family is matched with a personal "navigator," an expert who can provide insight into the local mental-health and addiction system, with more than 700 treatment providers, centres and programs. They help facilitate access to resources that meet the family's specific needs.

"In three short years, the Family Navigation Project has proven to be a tremendous resource for families," said Patti Shugart, managing director and head, Corporate Banking & Global Credit, RBC Capital Markets.  "Our goal for the 2016 RBC Race for the Kids is to sell out for a third year in a row and raise funds to help even more families find the specialized care and services they need."

Thanks to the support of the RBC Race for the Kids and private donors, the Family Navigation Project has helped more than 1,100 families open the door to recovery. In just three years, the race has raised more than $5.1 million, benefiting the program. Visit to register and find complete race details. To learn more about the Family Navigation Project, visit

SOURCE Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Image with caption: "RBC Race for the Kids Toronto (CNW Group/Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)". Image available at:

For further information: For media enquiries, contact: Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, 416.974.6286,; Nadia Radovini, Communications Advisor, Sunnybrook, 416.480.4040 (or 416.671.9147 on event day),


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