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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014


Health Foundation to receive over $35,800 from RBC for mental health initiatives

Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Northern Lights Health Foundation will be receiving over $35,800 in funding from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Their generous contribution will fund the I’m Special program and the Brain Game Symposium for Mental Health and Addictions Services in Wood Buffalo. The Health Foundation will host a cheque presentation ceremony during their Holiday Open House in the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

According to research, one in five Canadians, including Albertans, will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The remaining four will be impacted by the mental health of a loved one. An additional one in 10 people over age 15 may become dependent on alcohol or drugs at any given time in their life. As the Wood Buffalo population grows, so does the need for further addiction and mental health services for children and families within our community.

“The Health Foundation is thrilled to be receiving over $35,800 in funding from RBC. We want to thank them for their tremendous support of health care in our community,” says Susanne Chaffey, executive director for the Health Foundation. “This funding will have an incredible impact on the mental health and wellness of families and children in our region.”

I’m Special is a substance abuse prevention program offered to third and fourth graders with the primary goal of developing and nurturing each child’s sense of uniqueness and self worth. The program’s purpose is to both delay onset and reduce incidences of alcohol and other drug use/abuse among children by facilitating personal growth, social learning and social development.

The Brain Game Symposium will provide support to parents and practitioners working with children in understanding the brain development, and its connection to mental health and addiction. Participants will learn the importance of, and how to create and maintain stable, healthy environments for children which facilitate healthy brain development, therefore decreasing the risk of them developing mental health issues and addiction.

"Kids are our future and they deserve our full commitment in supporting their health and wellbeing,” says Dwain Krissa, regional vice president for RBC. “Children’s mental health is a critical social issue and we are proud to get behind programs like this that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase awareness.”

RBC is a committed supporter of health care in Wood Buffalo. In addition to the support of the local RBC branches, the RBC Foundation has provided over $407,800 in funding to the Health Foundation since 2002. RBC’s longstanding support has aided the Health Foundation in funding critical medical equipment, programs and services in our community. In 2013, RBC contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships.

About the Northern Lights Health Foundation
Established in 1985, the Northern Lights Health Foundation exists to provide funds to support health care priorities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. For more information, visit


For more information, please contact:
Amelia Schofield
Stakeholder Relations Officer
Northern Lights Health Foundation
Tel: 780-788-1324 Cell: 780-788-5247 Email:

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