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The Cause

Why focus on mental illness?

Who are we

In 2011, we were just a small group of friends at the beginning of our careers. One day, we started talking about mental health. We discovered that everyone had some connection to mental illness, whether personally, through family or friends, or even at work. So why was there so much silence, shame and misconception around the issue, and why wasn’t there more support to help us cope?

That’s when we came up with the idea of bringing people together to talk about mental health. We wanted people to know that mental illness is not only common, but also normal and curable. And we decided to target the people we knew best: young professionals. We believe that more can and should be done to support the unique challenges of our fast-paced, pressure-driven generation. We think that nobody should have to struggle with mental illness on their own. And we believe that when we come together to help each other, society as a whole stands to benefit.

What we do

As simple as it sounds, we did not realize the impact Let’s Bond would have not only on people struggling with mental illness, but also on our own lives. What started out as a small party has now turned into two major annual events:

  • Let’s Bond Urban Ball, an unforgettable and bold black-tie affair in the fall that attracts some 1,000 young professionals and business leaders from the Greater Montreal area
  • In Style with Holt, a springtime soirée where 700 style-conscious folks descend upon Holt Renfrew for a night of glam, fashion shows and private shopping

 

Not only have we met and bonded with some amazing people through these events, but we’ve also raised over $650,000 to date to benefit local mental health organizations.

Who we support

In addition to the net proceeds from our two annual fundraisers, 100% of the money received through donations and sponsorships goes directly to Fondation jeunes en tête and the Douglas Foundation.

Fondation jeunes en tête uses the funds to finance Partners for Life , an outreach program with two goals:

  • To teach young people 14 and older, parents and school staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression
  • To help them refer someone in distress to the appropriate resources

When left untreated, teen depression often leads to school dropouts and even suicide. Partners for Life aims to directly address teen depression in its early stages. Since its establishment in 1998, the program has reached over 1,000,000 teens across Quebec.

 

The Douglas Foundation uses the funds to support the development of the Douglas Institute: patient care and their environment, research in neuroscience and mental illness, as well as training and education.

Why mental health is so important

1 in 5 people in Quebec will be affected by a mental illness during their lifetime.¹

It can strike anyone without warning and at any time. Mental illness can manifest itself in many ways: depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia and bulimia.

1. Source: http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/problemes-de-sante/sante-mentale/

More than 1 in 4 Canadians are at “high risk” of mental health issues, but millennials, women and people with low incomes are the most susceptible.²

The number of people at risk for mental illness in Canada appears to be on the rise. For many, symptoms include stress, feelings of hopelessness and depression, and sometimes even thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

2. According to a 2017 Ipsos report. Source: http://globalnews.ca/news/3415871/these-3-groups-are-at-high-risk-of-mental-health-issues-in-canada-heres-why/

Mental illness can have a major impact on your work.

As adults, we spend over two-thirds of our waking hours at work. Work is not only financial rewarding and useful; for many of us, it is also a quest for identity in which we are seeking greater meaning for our lives and to contribute to something greater than ourselves. People struggling with mental illness may have a harder time concentrating, making decisions and feeling confident, which can balloon into worries about losing their job, strain relationships with colleagues and bosses, and ultimately negatively affect work performance and overall happiness.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds.³

The majority of youth who suffer from depression are afraid to mention it out of fear of being judged or rejected by their peers.

3. According to the World Health Organization, 2012. Source:
http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

Beneficiary Foundations