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A giant step forward for youth mental health

2018 RBC Race for the Kids raises $2.4 million for Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project

TORONTO, September 15, 2018 - More than 9,500 Torontonians supported youth mental health raising $2.4 million at the sixth annual RBC Race for the Kids. The event supports the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook, a unique program connecting families of youth with mental illness and/or addictions to the specialized services they need.


Quick Facts

  • The RBC Race for the Kids, which includes a 5K walk/run, a 7K run and a 15K run, has attracted more than 46,500 participants and raised a total of $12 million for the Family Navigation Project (FNP) at Sunnybrook since 2013.
  • FNP was founded by Sunnybrook psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Levitt and a group of parents who experienced challenges navigating the complex mental health-care system for their children.
  • FNP partners youth (ages 13 to 26) and families with clinically trained professionals who conduct assessments, analyze needs and provide navigation of the health-care and social service system.
  • In the first year of the FNP, 125 families were served. This number will grow to approximately 900 families in 2018. To date, FNP has helped to change the lives of more than 2,500 families since 2013.
  • An FNP survey confirms the growing need for mental health navigation services. Nearly one-third of Ontario families are caring for at least one youth with mental illness and/or addiction.


  • “There is a growing and enormous need for FNP’s innovative navigation model and, thanks to the generosity of RBC and the thousands of Race participants, we are able to have a positive impact on even more youth and their families every year,” said Dr. Anthony Levitt, Medical Director of the Family Navigation Project and Chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook. “We are delighted to work with RBC – they are an enthusiastic partner with a passionate commitment to youth mental health.”

  • “Our purpose at RBC is to help our communities prosper,” said Patti Shugart, Managing Director and Head, Corporate Banking & Global Credit, RBC Capital Markets, “and we know that the well-being of our youth plays a vital part in creating strong, vibrant communities.  We are proud to continue our longstanding support of the Family Navigation Project and its role serving youth – and their families – facing mental health and addiction issues.” 

  • 'The navigator program really helped me,” shared one FNP parent. “I felt scared that I couldn’t do it alone and then, suddenly, I had so many choices, from down the street to downtown.”

  • “The information and guidance I received was helpful, empathetic and non-judgmental. It makes me want to cry from relief . . . in a good way,” said another FNP parent.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1.2 million patients the hospital cares for each year through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada’s premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns and adults, offering specialized rehabilitation and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. The Hospital also has a unique and national leading program for the care of Canada’s war veterans.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at‎

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at

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For additional information or interviews, please contact:

Jennifer Palisoc, Communications Advisor, Sunnybrook
416-480-4040 (416-671-9147 on event day)

Michelle Yao, Senior Manager, Brand Communications, RBC