The Cause

All funds raised will be used towards mindfulness for mental health for marginalized people, delivered through The Centre for Mindfulness Studies' groundbreaking Community Program.

Watch this 3-minute video to see the personal impact:

Why Mental Health Matters

We all too often take mental health for granted, but it affects each one of us, and is crucial in creating a prosperous, equitable, and vibrant Toronto. Here are just a few staggering statistics:

  • 1 in 5 Canadians is affected by a mental health problem. Depression is at the top of the list.
  • Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness than any other group in Canada.
  • Mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression disproportionately affect the homeless, poor, unemployed, and at-risk youth, who face barriers in accessing the help they need.
And there are still many hospitals, emergency departments and healthcare provider clinics where mental health patients are neither welcomed nor treated in a manner consistent with the severity and impact of these illnesses. In fact, there are many who still believe that mental disorders are not illnesses at all, but rather a matter of will. Stigma and access remain significant barriers to treatment.

Watch this 2-minute video on making Mindfulness Therapy More Accessible:

Do you know someone who has difficulty coping or suffers from debilitating emotional conditions? Mental and emotional challenges can seriously impact one's ability to take care of themselves and contribute to their families, communities, and society in a meaningful way.

Here’s the good news - we can d
o something about it!

Mindfulness is an affordable group-based treatment that has been shown to prevent depressive relapse (equivalent to anti-depressants), treat acute depression and anxiety, addictions and other mental health problems. 

Mindfulness-based therapy can make a real difference. Just ask Alice, a client of Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre (PARC): 

"The mindfulness has helped my anxiety a lot...really changed the way I do things. I used to be a person who would say, I'm gonna beat you up. But mindfulness has helped me to be calm...I don't scream anymore."

Shelly, another client of PARC, said: 

"I see mindfulness as a way to be less dependent on medications."

And John shared:

"My first 22 years of life were hell. I left home when I was 13 because my mom drank and was abusive...I love mindfulness. It helps me work towards my dream...Mindfulness goes hand-in-hand to help self healing, self-reliance, and independence from drugs and alcohol."

Many people have been helped, but many more are waiting for access to these mindfulness training programs. Mindfulness Challenge 2017 provides the opportunity to truly give your mindfulness practice to others who need it most.

Where your dollars go

For just $75, an 8-week mindfulness program can be delivered by a front-line worker to a marginalized and disadvantaged social service client. Or for $200, The Centre for Mindfulness Studies can directly provide mindfulness-based therapy through our Bursary Program. The funds raised through the Challenge will be used for these and other important Community Program projects.

Thanks to the money raised at Mindfulness Challenge 2016:
  • 750 marginalized people per year will have access to weekly mindfulness sessions as part of our Mindful Peer Leadership program, co-funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, in which clients of five social service agencies are being trained to facilitate mindfulness sessions for their peers.
  • Hundreds of homeless people had access to a weekly 1.5 hour mindfulness group at Beth Shalom’s Out of the Cold program this winter.
  • 80 low-income people have been provided bursaries to our mindfulness-based therapy programs.

About The Centre for Mindfulness Studies

For the past six years, the Centre for Mindfulness Studies has emerged as the leading provider of professional mindfulness training in Canada. As a charity and social enterprise, the Centre is committed to making mindfulness available to everyone. We work with more than 20 social service agencies and seven healthcare partners to bring mindfulness into the communities that need it most. It’s the heart of what we do.

Learn more about how our Community Program empowers marginalized and disadvantaged people to take control of their own mental health and well-being through mindfulness-based interventions, and our community-based model of care.