National Bank Indigenous Youth Mental Health Fund

Up-close photo of youth looking at camera and smiling

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is proud to announce the creation of the National Bank Indigenous Youth Mental Health Fund, thanks to National Bank and their donation of $300,000. The fund will be launched soon.

Currently, Indigenous young people represent over half of those experiencing the child welfare system in Canada, despite representing only eight per cent of our country’s child population1. Together with our partners and donors, we are committed to developing and supporting targeted strategies to address the needs of populations including Indigenous children, youth, and families who are overrepresented within the child welfare system. We are excited about the opportunity to build and grow important programs like this one with the help of powerful donations from allies like National Bank.

Today’s youth are building our future and we firmly believe that they should all have equal chances. It starts with the right tools to remove barriers caused by mental health issues. The National Bank Indigenous Youth Mental Health Fund will play a critical role in helping Indigenous young people reach their full potential.

Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank

The National Bank Indigenous Youth Mental Health Fund will provide unique support to approximately 240 Indigenous youth who are in the process of transitioning out of the child welfare system and working towards education and employment goals.

Examples of the mental health support accessible will include individual and group counselling, individual and group therapy, expressive art therapy and more. All mental health services will be rooted in trauma-informed, culturally sensitive approaches specific to the needs of Indigenous youth, and delivered by Indigenous-led agencies. This program will run in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary and various cities in New Brunswick.

There are so many incredible people who have turned a tough beginning into a remarkable journey. We, at National Bank, want to be here to help provide necessary support for young people on their journeys. We recognize the overrepresentation of Indigenous young people and families involved in the child welfare system and are committed to working with organizations like the Foundation which recognize their responsibility to remove barriers and create better, more equitable access to opportunities.

Sean St. John, Executive Vice President, Managing Director and Co-Head – Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Group at National Bank, Board Member of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and Leader of the Foundation’s Equity and Inclusion Community Council

We are so grateful for the support of National Bank and admire their ongoing commitment to improving the lives of children and youth in and from care across the country.

Read more about Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s commitment to addressing the issues of overrepresentation here.

1 Statistics Canada. Census (2016), cited in