ICMIF member The Co-operators has announced this week that the organisation has increased funding for youth and marginalised communities in Canada, as many struggle with mental health issues and insecurity related to COVID-19. In addition to the CAD 205,000 in support funding for youth mental health through ongoing partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC), Kids Help Phone and Enactus Canada, the cooperative insurer has bolstered its investment by CAD 220,000 in light of COVID.
"The Co-operators is committed to supporting mental wellness and community resilience for young Canadians, many of whom face significant obstacles and uncertainty," says Rob Wesseling, President and CEO, The Co-operators. "Engaging and supporting young people is an important part of enabling healthier, safer and more resilient Canadian communities."
In 2020, The Co-operators formed a new partnership with BGCC to develop a financial literacy program for kids age six to 17. While this work continues, COVID-19 has created other pressing community needs.
"During the COVID-19 crisis, Boys & Girls Clubs are on the frontlines for families across Canada, providing care packages, daycare for essential workers, virtual programming for kids of all ages, and other emergency needs," said Owen Charters, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. "We are grateful to The Co-operators for their donation to our Emergency Relief Fund, which helps our Clubs continue this much-needed work."
How The Co-operators is supporting youth mental health during COVID-19:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada
The Co-operators funding helps BGCC provide emergency support for its members, families and affected communities through no-contact food drops, drive-through food banks, crisis hotlines, meals and accommodations. Since 1900, Boys and Girls Clubs have opened their doors to children, youth and families, providing vital programmes and services to over 200,000 young people in 700 communities across Canada.
- Kids Help Phone
The Co-operators is a founding partner of the Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone, which provides youth with a confidential, 24/7 texting service. The Co-operators provided additional funding to hire more counsellors and volunteer crisis responders to handle the increased demand for texting support due to COVID-19. Kids Help Phone is Canada's only 24/7national service offering professional counselling, information, referrals, and volunteer led text-based support for young people.
- Enactus Canada
The Co-operators partnership with Enactus Canada focuses on enhancing the mental health of post-secondary students, while providing the opportunity for them to do the same in their communities. The Co-operators Youth Mental Wellness Project Accelerator enables students to develop projects in support of community mental wellness, and the organisation recently provided additional funding to launch a summer Grant Programme to address mental health resiliency.