Government of Canada invests $447K to support mental health through Ottawa youth mental health project

News release

Funding is part of a commitment of $100 million to support those most affected by COVID-19

November 19, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

There is no health without mental health. While many Canadians struggle with mental health issues, certain groups in Canada are more likely to face disproportionate challenges accessing mental health supports because of racism, discrimination, socio-economic status or social exclusion. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing these disparities and promoting positive mental health for everyone. 

Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced nearly $500k in funding to the Vanier Community Services Centre in Ottawa, Ontario for their project to support youth mental health. This project will use community-based well-being activities as prevention and intervention pathways to improve child and youth mental health. This innovative initiative is intended to increase awareness of and access to existing community social services and activities for children, youth, and families in need, and helps them to reach their full potential. 

This announcement is part of a $100 million investment provided in Budget 2021 to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include youth, seniors, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Black and other racialized people in Canada, front-line and other essential workers, and others whose mental health has been, and continues to be especially impacted by the pandemic. 


“During the pandemic, Canada’s young people have had to cope with challenging disruption in their routines. The school and university closures have taken a serious toll on their mental health: an increase in anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Supporting Vanier Community Services Centre to continue doing their amazing work to promote positive mental health among youth will help even more individuals and families in Ottawa access the resources and holistic care they need.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health

“The Vanier Community Services Centre, through the Vanier Social Pediatric Hub provides integral resources to the youth of Ottawa-Vanier who are struggling with mental health. This funding will help increase access to existing community social services and activities for children, youth, and families in need, and will help them to reach their full potential”.

The Honourable Mona Fortier

Member of Parliament, Ottawa-Vanier

“Social prescribing allows health care workers to refer clients to local, non-clinical services selected based on the clients' interests and goals. This practice empowers clients to improve their health by developing new skills, participating in meaningful activities, and connecting with their community. For children, youth and families at the Social Pediatric Hub, activities include participating in an exercise group, receiving a box of healthy food to promote food security, taking an art, singing or dance class, or getting involved in a community gardening group.”

Stephanie Fragman, Director, Social Pediatric Hub – Vanier Community Services Centre

Quick facts

  • One in three Canadians indicated their mental health got worse due to the pandemic.

  • Community-based projects focussed on mental health promotion have the potential to improve health outcomes over the life course. 

  • Mental health is very much interconnected with physical health, and central to overall health and well-being. For example, poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions, and vice versa. Positive mental health also has a bearing on people’s ability to cope with life’s challenges and stress, sense of belonging and feelings of being in control of their life.

  • The Government of Canada is committed toward the mental health of people supporting people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you are in need of support or if a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth). The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals.

Associated links


Maja Staka
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Carolyn Bennett

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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