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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > Demi Lovato, Royal Bank of Canada, Virgin Unite, and Draper Richards Kaplan Launch Coronavirus Mental Health Fund

Demi Lovato, Royal Bank of Canada, Virgin Unite, and Draper Richards Kaplan Launch Coronavirus Mental Health Fund

NEW YORK, April 20, 2020 - Today, Demi Lovato, Royal Bank of Canada, Virgin Unite, Canadian Family Foundations and Draper Richards Kaplan announce the launch of The Mental Health Fund, which already raised $2M, to help individuals in pain from the mental health and behavioral impact of the coronavirus. This fund aims to support the work of organizations that provide crisis intervention via text message, 24/7.

Crisis Text Line serves as founder of The Mental Health Fund, along with Demi Lovato, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Virgin Unite, Canadian Family Foundations, Draper Richards Kaplan, and others who have provided $2M funds to launch the initiative. The Mental Health Fund, which is live on GoFundMe, has a goal of reaching $5M.

Crisis intervention via text is filling a gap in the mental health care system, especially for people who find it difficult to talk or do not have the resources to access other care.

'So many people have been left alone with their thoughts, their abusers, their anxieties — and are struggling with the uncertainty of these times,' said Demi Lovato. 'I know not everyone has the ability to get the help they need so my hope is that this fund can bring support to help alleviate some of the hardship and pain people are going through.'

To meet the increased demand of people in pain, Crisis Text Line, Shout UK, Kids Help Phone, and, have come together to work with The Mental Health Fund.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these organizations experienced a collective 40% increase in texter volume in March and April.

The data from these crisis lines' conversations demonstrates the mental health impact of this pandemic and the quarantines:

  • Anxiety is the top issue right now. 78% of conversations indicate anxiety. Financial stress is a large portion of this anxiety.
  • Impoverished people are in acute pain. Currently 32% of texters in the USA report their household income is under $20,000 annually.
  • Quarantines are causing hardship as people may be sheltering in place with abusers. In March these hotlines saw a collective increase in conversations about emotional and physical abuse.

'The virus itself is awful and causing anxiety and grief and then the quarantines and financial ruin is causing different intense pain,' said Nancy Lublin, CEO and Co-Founder of Crisis Text Line. 'We're here for all of it. Bring it on. We got you.'

'Physical distancing is tough on everyone, but it's particularly challenging for those who are anxious about reaching out for help,' said Dave McKay, President and CEO of RBC. 'By supporting The Mental Health Fund, RBC is helping make sure resources are available for those struggling with the day-to-day challenges of a more isolated world. We encourage everyone to seek the support they need, when they need it.'

'We are so honoured to support the critical work of the incredible people behind The Mental Health Fund. There has never been a more important time for their work. Mental health support will be needed for years to come, and we all should get behind their mission to ensure everyone can receive quality support 24/7.'  Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Unite.

'During these unprecedented times filled with worry and fear there is support 24/7 to help with any issue big or small,' said Katherine Hay, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone. 'We understand days are filled with isolation and uncertainty. Together we will get through this crisis and Kids Help Phone is there every step of the way. We are grateful for The Mental Health Fund during this extraordinary time.'

These organizations recruit, train, and support volunteers who comfort texters struggling to cope with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, domestic violence, eating disorders, or other mental health challenges. Since 2013, Crisis Text Line and its affiliate partners Kids Help Phone, Shout, and have trained over 30,000 volunteers and exchanged over 150 million messages by text with people in pain.

Your support is greatly appreciated! To learn more about The Mental Health Fund, visit GoFundMe: If you're interested in promoting on social media, please find social language and assets HERE.

About Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support for people in crisis via text. Crisis Counselors complete a 30-hour training and have 24/7 supervision by full-time Crisis Text Line mental health professionals. In the US, Text CRISIS to 741741 24/7 a week to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line launched in 2013 in the United States and in 2020 in Ireland. Shout and Kids Help Phone are affiliate partners of Crisis Text Line, offering the service in the UK and Canada. 

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada's only 24/7 national service offering professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led text-based support for young people. Kids Help Phone's free, confidential services are available in both English and French. Kids Help Phone is a registered Canadian charity, and raises the majority of revenue from individuals, foundations, corporations and community fundraising.

About Shout
Shout is the UK's first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. We offer in the moment help for times when life gets overwhelming and you need immediate support. Shout is powered by a team of Crisis Volunteers, who are at the heart of this service. We take people from crisis to calm every single day. Shout exists in the US as Crisis Text Line, but this is the first time this tried and tested technology has come to the UK.

About is Ireland's leading youth website by young people, for young people with over 1.6 million readers in 2019. and Crisis Text Line (Ireland) are projects of Community Creations CLG, a registered charity in Ireland funded in part by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Children & Youth Affairs.

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