RBC Race for the Kids sets new fundraising record for youth mental health

8,500 participants supported the fourth annual race

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - Youth mental health received a strong message of support today as thousands walked and ran in the 2016 Race for the Kids. The event raised $2.2 million benefitting the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook.

"We are thrilled by the level of support we've received from the community. Today we showed youth that their mental health matters," says Dr. Anthony Levitt, medical director of the Family Navigation Project and chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook. "With the generous support of RBC and the funds raised through this event, we can help more youth and their families who are struggling with mental illness and addiction."

The RBC Race for the Kids supports the Family Navigation Project (FNP), a unique program that partners families with professionals who guide them to the mental health and addiction services they need. The project was started in 2014 by parents frustrated by the challenges of finding their way through the complex mental health-care system. Thanks to the RBC Race for the Kids, the FNP has helped over 1,300 families to date.

The RBC Youth Mental Health Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that provide youth and families with immediate access to services, as well as technology-based solutions, such as online and telephone services. The RBC Youth Mental Health Project is part of the RBC Kids Pledge, a five-year, $100 million commitment to improve the well-being of one million kids and youth.

"We are committed to supporting programs that help youth and their families access the right care at the right time, which is why Sunnybrook's Family Navigation Project is so important" says Patti Shugart, Managing Director and Head, Corporate Banking & Global Credit, RBC Capital Markets and Executive Champion, RBC Race for the Kids. "I am proud of our 5,600 RBC employees, friends and family that participated in the race today and showed their commitment to youth mental health."

The RBC Race for the Kids started and finished at Mel Lastman Square in North York and included three distances - 5km walk/run, a 7km run and a 15km run. The RBC Race for the Kids in Toronto is part of an exciting series of eleven charitable runs supporting children's causes in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom and the United States. To date, the Toronto RBC Race for the Kids has raised $7.2 miliion.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1.2 million patients the hospital cares for each year through the dedication of its more than 13,000 staff, students and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns and adults, offering specialized rehabilitation and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. The Hospital also has a unique and national leading program for the care of Canada's war veterans. For more information about how Sunnybrook is inventing the future of health care please visit us online at www.sunnybrook.ca.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.

SOURCE Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Image with caption: "Participants of the 4th annual RBC Race for the Kids walked and ran to show their support for youth mental health. (CNW Group/Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160917_C2743_PHOTO_EN_775695.jpg

For further information: For additional information or to confirm attendance/interviews, please contact: Nadia Radovini, Communications Advisor, Sunnybrook, 416-480-4040 (416-671-9147 on event day), nadia.radovini@sunnybrook.ca; André C. Roberts, RBC Brand and Corporate Citizenship Communications, 416-313-7436 (647-535-6574 on event day), andre.roberts@rbc.com


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