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How BMO employees are mobilizing to support youth mental health

May marks a time to focus on Mental Health across Canada and the U.S. At BMO, our industry-leading culture of employee giving is boosting support for youth mental health, raising awareness of critical services that fill gaps in care and get support to youth – whenever and wherever they need it.

For the first time in our history, employees across Canada and the U.S. mobilized together for two organizations – Kids Help Phone in Canada and National Alliance for Mental Illness in the U.S.

On Sunday May 5, BMO was the title sponsor of Kids Help Phone’s annual BMO Walk so Kids Can Talk event, Canada’s largest walk to raise funds and awareness for youth mental health and well-being. The Walk saw record-breaking attendance, with more than 12,600 registrants in 17 communities across Canada raising $3.7 million and counting to support youth mental health. Over 75 per cent of participants were BMO colleagues, friends or family with more than 10,700 BMO employees raising over $2.1 million for Kids Help Phone.

For 35 years, BMO has provided unwavering support for youth mental health as a founding partner of Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only 24/7 multilingual, national e-mental health service offering professional counselling, live chat, volunteer-led text-based support as well as information and referrals for young people.

Donations will be accepted until the end of May, so please visit BMO Walk so Kids Can Talk if you want to contribute.

“I am reflecting on our 35-year-long BMO partnership and the many people who have worked tirelessly and supported KHP over the years. Thank you for enabling us to be there for youth coast to coast to coast.”

– Katherine Hay, CEO – Kids Help Phone

BMO colleagues participate in the 2024 BMO Walk so Kids Can Talk events across Canada.

Together BMO and Kids Help Phone will continue to deliver on our collective commitment to ensuring young people in every community across Canada will have full and equitable access to services that support their well-being and resilience – whenever and wherever they need it.

Across our US footprint, colleagues are continuing to mobilize for National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline. The NAMI Teen & Young Adult (T&YA) Helpline is a free, nationwide teen and young adult peer-support service providing information, resource referrals, and support to teens and young adults who have a mental health condition or are going through a difficult time in their life. U.S. employees across the country are supporting NAMI’s helpline through fundraising and donations.

“I’m proud of our employees’ fundraising efforts for NAMI, including BMO’s $75,000 donation to this organization. This donation will further expand the work that is needed on mental health nationwide.”

-Anthony Hudson, Head of Distribution, U.S. Personal Banking & Business Banking

In recent years, the world has seen a dramatic rise in mental health challenges among youth. In fact, young people aged 15-24 are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance abuse than any other age group. In Canada, one in two youth report dealing with mental health struggles alone*. Young people are facing complex challenges and advocacy for strengthening access to mental health resources is critically important.

BMO has long made it a priority to raise critical funds to support mental health. In the past decade, we’ve donated $23 million to enable access to mental health care programming across demographics, and to help fund infrastructure and cutting-edge, lifesaving research across Canada and the United States.

BMO’s support for mental health is directly tied to our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. It’s vital to an inclusive society and thriving economy – and as a forward-looking, future-ready bank, we know that supporting younger generations is one of the most important things we can do.

*Get Insights – Kids Help Phone

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