Women’s College Hospital Foundation receives $1.8 million from The Slaight Family Foundation

Gift part of $26.5 million commitment to organizations supporting youth mental health initiatives

TORONTO (SEPTEMBER 26, 2023) – The Slaight Family Foundation today announced it will donate $26.5 million to 19 organizations including national charities, Greater Toronto Area hospitals, and community service providers to support and expand services for youth suffering from mental health issues. The initiative will enable recipient organizations to provide new or enhanced models of care for youth suffering from such issues as substance use disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, eating disorders and post-partum depression. As part of this gift, Women’s College Hospital Foundation will receive $1.8 million to facilitate the Hospital’s work with Black Creek Community Health Centre and Delta Family Resource Centre to enhance the Mother Matters program to close gaps in postpartum mental health care for young people. 

A major component of this initiative is the creation of formal partnerships between 12 GTA hospitals and local mental health organizations serving youth that will establish a continuum of care that youth will receive after being discharged from hospitals. This includes implementing better and more realistic models and programs that can be replicated across the country to prevent youth from falling through the cracks—particularly those from underserved and vulnerable communities.  

“Funding for mental health initiatives doesn’t just improve lives; it strengthens our entire social fabric,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation. “One of the issues we heard loud and clear was the disconnect between youth discharged from hospitals and the continued community support or services available to them. Investing in these connecting services and programs is an investment in the well-being and future of our youth. We consider this support a fundamental step towards breaking down barriers and creating a more equitable, accessible healthcare system.”  

The announcement comes ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 10) and at a crucial time, as Canadians between 15 and 24 years old are more likely to report mental health and substance use concerns than any other age group.  

“We are thrilled to once again partner with The Slaight Family Foundation to address critical needs for young people and their mental health. This generous gift will revolutionize the way that pregnant and postpartum youth access the mental health care they need and deserve, throughout every step of their journey. The Slaight Family Foundation’s donation will have a profound impact on Women’s College Hospital, our Department of Psychiatry, and the thousands of pregnant and postpartum youth who deserve equitable, accessible, and informed mental healthcare.”  

Sara Byrnell, Vice President, Philanthropy & Partnerships

The other organizations receiving funding from this initiative are: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Covenant House, Drug Free Kids Canada, Humber River Health, Jack.org, Kids Help Phone, Michael Garron Hospital, North York General Hospital, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Pine River Institute, Scarborough Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children, Sinai Health, St Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital, University Health Network and Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario. 

About Women’s College Hospital and Women’s College Hospital Foundation 

Women’s College Hospital is Canada’s leader in advancing health for women and a global leader in conducting groundbreaking women’s health research. As the first and only fully independent hospital focused on women, Women’s is building on its 100+ year history as a trailblazer in identifying and addressing women’s health gaps and delivering pioneering firsts for women, the vulnerable and the underserved. 

Women’s is also the only fully ambulatory, academic healthcare institution in Canada, with a provincial mandate to lead the way in improving the health system for all people. Women’s achieves this by addressing the most pressing health system challenges facing Canadians today and proactively confronting the gender and social inequities that threaten people’s health. 

Women’s College Hospital Foundation fuels the hospital’s excellence in research and health care by connecting donors, partners, advocates and volunteers to its mission. It works to bring healthcare equity to the diverse communities in which we all live and serve and, together, create a healthier and more equitable world for women and their loved ones. 

About The Slaight Family Foundation  

Since 2013, The Slaight Family Foundation has funded several strategic initiatives to multiple organizations. These initiatives started with gifts to five Toronto hospitals to support priority healthcare issues, followed by programs to address global humanitarianism, the healthy development of children and youth across Canada, support for Indigenous issues, a seniors’ initiative to help keep seniors in their homes and communities, supporting mental health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, support for women and girls at risk in Canada and most recently to support the performing arts industry as it continues to recover from pandemic-related closures. This gift of $26.5 million brings the collective support for these strategic initiatives to $211.5 million.  

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021), known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, was a leader in the music industry and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture. Allan’s son, Gary Slaight, oversees the foundation as President & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation.  

Media Contact:  

Lauren La Rose 
Women’s College Hospital Foundation 
lauren.larose @wchospital.ca 

Alex Shinnan