January 24, 2022
Youth in and aging out of foster care will now have improved access to free clinical counselling thanks to a $20,000 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to Aunt Leah’s Place. The grant will be directed towards expanding the capacity of the counselling program provided by Dan’s Legacy Foundation.
Youth like “Jeremy” who was born into a family with a long history of gang involvement and witnessed horrific violence in his home from the time he was a child. “Jeremy’s” school counsellor referred him to Dan’s Legacy’s counselling program where a therapist helped him learn self-regulation through healthy diet and exercise, which set the foundation to begin trauma counselling. Aunt Leah’s Place then supported “Jeremy” to find housing, which gave him a safe space away from the violence. After a year of trauma counselling “Jeremy” learned how to let go of his rage and focus on building his life. “Jeremy” is now enrolled in university and thrilled at the idea of having so many choices to create his future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the community’s collective mental health, and for many youth in and from foster care the impact has been especially devastating. Many of these young people, already struggling with mental health issues, are experiencing increased anxiety and depression due to the uncertainty, financial hardship, and isolation created by the pandemic.
“Conditions created by COVID-19 for young people facing mental health challenges necessarily strengthened the partnership between Aunt Leah’s and Dan’s Legacy. By joining forces and with the generous support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, we have been able to respond to the need for mental health support by providing immediate crisis care and counselling for youth in and from foster care,” says Sarah Stewart, Executive Director of Aunt Leah’s Place. “This support has been a lifeline for many of our youth.”
“Working as a team with Aunt Leah’s Place over the years has shown how much the community benefits from our combined efforts,” says Barbara Coates, Dan’s Legacy’s executive director. “We’re grateful to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for their continued support of our programs, and look forward to more successful health outcomes for our youth clients.”
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to support Aunt Leah’s Place as they work with Dan’s Legacy Foundation to expand mental health counselling services for youth in foster care in the Lower Mainland,” says Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund provides grants to community- based mental health organizations throughout the country, working to expand access to mental health care for more young people close to home through programs like this.”
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 26
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat lens. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access. Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
About Aunt Leah’s Place
Aunt Leah’s Place helps prevent children in foster care from becoming homeless and mothers in need from losing custody of their children. To support them on their journey to self-sufficiency, we provide supported housing, job training, and coaching on essential life skills.
About Dan’s Legacy Foundation
Dan’s Legacy provides therapeutic counselling and life-skills intervention programs to youth affected by trauma-based mental health and addictions issues. In the past year, Dan’s Legacy helped over 400 youth stabilize and begin working towards their educational, employment, and recovery goals.
Aunt Leah’s Place – Lourdes Perez de Lara, [email protected], 604-2187104
Dan’s Legacy Foundation – Barbara Coates, [email protected], 604-329-9186 1 1