Royal Couple to discuss Canadian charity's approach to youth mental health
TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Jack.org, Canada's only national network of young leaders working to end the stigma of mental health, has been invited to meet Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on October 1st during the couple's second tour of Canada.
The meeting will take place in Victoria, British Columbia aboard a tall ship operated by the Sail and Life Training Society. Their Royal Highnesses will meet Jack.org's student representatives to hear about how their work is transforming the way Canadian youth think about mental health.
Representing the organization will be 19 students from high schools, colleges and universities across Canada and co-founders Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington, parents of Jack Windeler, whose death by suicide in his first year of university led to the creation of Jack.org.
"We work with passionate student leaders from across Canada who believe, as we do, that we must transform the way we think and talk about mental health," said Eric Windeler. "The support Their Royal Highnesses show for youth mental health is bringing international exposure to the issue and helping to end the stigma, which in turn will improve and save young lives. We are honoured to have been selected to represent our sector and to discuss the transformational work our young leaders do across Canada."
Jack.org's student representatives, through programs like Jack Chapters, Jack Summit and Jack Talks, work to engage their peers by hosting activities that appeal to all young people, not just the ones who struggle with mental health issues. Jack.org has 50 trained youth speakers, youth summits Canada-wide and more than 100 Jack Chapters located at high schools, colleges and universities across the country. Each student-led Chapter is empowered to determine the best way to engage students on their campus.
Jack.org was founded in 2010 after Jack Windeler, a first-year student at Queen's University, died by suicide. Following his death, Jack's parents Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington set up a memorial fund at Kids Help Phone and a partnership with Queen's University. This laid the foundation for the national charity Jack.org. In 2015-16, thanks to its generous donors, Jack.org raised $1.5 million. To-date, Jack.org has raised and invested more than $5 million to support youth mental health across Canada.
Jack.org wishes to sincerely thank its supporters who are making this once-in-a-lifetime visit possible: Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, RBC Foundation, MEC and the Air Canada Foundation.
To find out more about the organization, please visit jack.org.
Eric Windeler, Executive Director of Jack.org, and several student representatives will be available for interviews prior to and following their meeting with The Duke and Duchess.