United Way of Peel Region Announces Strategic Investments in Mental Health Supports

PEEL REGION (May 2, 2016) – Today, United Way announced an investment of over $1.3 million supporting critical mental health services to meet the growing need in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.

Key Facts:

  • Mental illness is the second leading cause of disability and premature death among Canadians.
  • One in five will experience diagnosable mental health problems or illnesses in their lifetime. 70% of which will occur during childhood or adolescence.

In Peel:

  • This figure represents over 250,000 people. Stigma and lack of awareness of mental health supports are key challenges facing Peel’s population
  • There is a 6 month waitlist for mental health supports
  • 12% of Peel students surveyed had seriously considered suicide and 6% had tried it at least once in the past 12 months
  • Police units are responding to an increasing number of mental health calls – 96% increase since 2009

United Way of Peel Region is focused on poverty reduction. Collectively, we work to reduce poverty, prevent poverty and support people living in crisis right now. Through research and best practice, we know that mental health and addictions play a critical role in feeding into the cycle of poverty.

Across the region, there is significant need for increased supports, education, outreach and advocacy.  The $1.3 million announced today will go to drive education, awareness, counseling, family supports and outreach strategies.
One of our best opportunities to break the cycle of poverty is to prevent and address mental health issues before it is too late.  


“We see the impact of mental health and addictions in our hospital emergency departments, our work places and our schools. We need to significantly increase access to community based mental health services in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga to meet the needs of our growing, diverse communities.” - Shelley White, President and CEO, United Way of Peel Region.

“Police are called upon to assist individuals suffering from mental illness at an alarming rate that seems to increase yearly.  It puts officers and citizens at risk due to the limited amount of mental health resources available in the community.” - Chief Jennifer Evans, Peel Regional Police

“As our community continues to grow, so does the need for quality mental health and addictions services. Each year, we see and treat more than 85,000 people through our inpatient and outpatient mental health and addictions services, and care for over 7,500 patients with mental health issues in Osler Emergency Departments. With the support of partners like the United Way, we can continue to offer even greater access to the mental health and addictions care that our community needs, closer to home.” - Dr. David Koczerginski, Chief of Psychiatry, William Osler Health System

About United Way of Peel Region

Established in 1967, United Way of Peel Region inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and motivate policy and attitude changes that lead to the improvement of people’s quality of life in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. United Way’s community investment focus is to help individuals and families move from a life of poverty to one full of possibilities, to ensure all children have the opportunity to be all they can be, and to build strong communities. For more information on United Way’s work in the community visit:

Media contacts:

Roy Saad | Manager, Stakeholder Engagement
416-356-6344 (mobile) | | @unitedwaypeel