Racing to help families navigate mental health care

Fifth annual RBC Race for the Kids
supports the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook

TORONTO, April 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Registration is now open for the fifth annual RBC Race for the Kids. Sponsored by RBC, the Race invites participants to raise funds for the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook by completing a 5K walk or run, a 7K run or a 15K run. The 2017 event will take place at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto on Saturday, September 16.

Since its inception, the RBC Race for the Kids has raised more than $7 million and counting for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre's Family Navigation Project, a free call-in and email service that has helped more than 1,600 families navigate the complex mental health-care system.

As many as two million young people in Canada struggle with mental health issues or addiction, yet youth are the least likely of all age groups to access mental health services. Only 20 per cent of young adults get the specialized treatment they need. Founded by a group of parents together with Sunnybrook psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Levitt, the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook pairs families with clinically-trained navigators who evaluate their needs and match them with mental health services. The program has a roster of more than 700 treatment providers across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Navigators teach families the language they need to better access the right care, assist with referrals and provide ongoing support throughout their care journey.

"Sunnybrook's navigators have impacted the lives of more than 4,000 people so far, earning a 92 per cent satisfaction rate among youth and their families," says Dr. Anthony Levitt, medical director of the Family Navigation Project and chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook. "We're grateful to our partners at RBC for helping to make life-changing and life-saving care possible."

Sunnybrook's unique mental-health navigation model is made possible by support from private donors and the RBC Race for the Kids. Over four years, the event has contributed $7.3 million to the Family Navigation Project, including $2.2 million last year alone. More than 8,000 people walked and ran to support youth mental health in 2016.

"We're proud to celebrate our five year Race partnership with Sunnybrook and witness the incredible impact that the Family Navigation Project has had on Ontario families in such a short time," explains Patti Shugart, managing director and head, Corporate Banking & Global Credit, RBC Capital Markets. "RBC is committed to supporting programs that help youth and their families access the right care at the right time and we look forward to seeing thousands participate in the RBC Race for the Kids make that happen."  

Registration and complete race details are available at
To learn more about the Family Navigation Project, visit

SOURCE Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

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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