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United Way of Peel Region Highlights $1.3 Million in Mental Health Supports

PEEL REGION (May 3, 2017) – 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.

During Mental Health week, United Way is highlighting a continued investment of over $1.3 million to support critical mental health services to meet the growing need in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. This funding is part of the annual investment of over $7 million made throughout Peel Region by the United Way.

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:

  • Wait times for mental health supports can be up to one-year or more
  • In 2015, 14% of Peel students seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months. This is similar to Ontario (12%).
  • Approximately one-third of students in Peel (32%) felt they “did not know who to turn to” when they needed to discuss mental health or emotional health issues. Females (45%) were twice as likely as males (20%) to report feeling this way.

The $1.3 million that is being highlighted today will go to drive education, awareness, counseling, family supports and outreach strategies. One of the best opportunities to break the cycle of poverty is to prevent and address mental health issues before it is too late.  
“We know that mental illness is one of the key contributors to the cycle of poverty, and across the region we are seeing an increase in the demand for services. This continued funding earmarked for mental health supports is part of the larger investments we make on an annual basis to support those in crisis.” Said Anita Stellinga, Interim President and CEO, United Way of Peel Region. “United Way continues to work with our partners in Education, Government, Police, Labour and the community to address issues of mental illness and stigma in Peel.”

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: www.unitedwaypeel.org.

Media contacts:

Roy Saad | Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Public Affairs
416-356-6344 (mobile) | rsaad@unitedwaypeel.org | @unitedwaypeel