The Cause

Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project is 100% donor-funded.
Your support is crucial.

As the largest navigation program of its kind in Canada, Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project (FNP) guides youth and their families towards improved mental well-being.

And all of this is made possible by generous supporters like you!

Sugy Kodeeswaran, Executive Director, FNP, shares how in this video.

Too many young people are struggling

As many as 1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario will experience some form of mental health challenge. And 5 out of 6 of those will not receive the treatment they need. That’s because young people who are struggling are reluctant to speak up, and 63% cite stigma as the reason. Then, there’s the sheer complexity of the mental health care system, with well over 1,000 treatment providers, centres and programs for mental illness in Ontario.

Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project (FNP) is a free service that pairs youth aged 11 to 29 experiencing mental health and/or addictions challenges, and their families, with clinically-trained navigators who connect them with the services they urgently need. FNP serves families in the Greater Toronto Area.

About the Family Navigation Project

Since 2013, Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project, part of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program, has been there to guide families to the right treatments and services for young people experiencing mental illness and/or addiction challenges.

Team members partner with youth, 11 to 29 years old, and their families to help them navigate the mental health system and related services. This way, families connect to appropriate and credible assessment and treatment resources to get the assistance they need when they need it. Learn more.

Funded entirely by donations

Your support for RBC Race for the Kids is critical. Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project (FNP) is not only the first-of-its-kind and largest navigation program in Canada, but it is also funded by generous supporters like you.

Your fundraising efforts will have a life-changing impact on youth suffering with mental illness and addiction. Last year alone, you helped the FNP team make close to 9,000 connections with youth and families in our community.

By volunteering to collect donations through RBC Race for the Kids, you’re joining a community working together to help youth reach their potential.

Amayah’s Story

Amayah* felt her world shrink during her teenage years.

Overwhelmed by her mother's disabilities, grandmother's dementia and her father's low-income job, she also grappled with her own identity, mental health struggles and an undiagnosed developmental disability. Life felt like a pressure cooker: her grades sank and suicidal thoughts took root.

“I felt helpless and hopeless; there was nothing that I could do to get myself out,” Amayah shares.

While in university, a lifeline emerged in the form of a health counselor who recommended the Family Navigation Project (FNP). This donor-funded program at Sunnybrook matches youth aged 11 to 29 experiencing mental health and/or addiction challenges, and their families, with clinically-trained navigators who connect them to appropriate support services.

Through FNP, Amayah found a female therapist with a similar cultural background.


“I was finally being seen and heard and respected,” says Amayah.

Therapy led to a life-changing diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This revelation empowered Amayah. With FNP's help, she connected to ASD-specific support and resources. Now in her mid-twenties, Amayah's back on track and feeling immensely grateful.

“Your support helps people like me find the care we desperately need. It genuinely terrifies me to think where I would be now without it,” she says.

By signing up for RBC Race for the Kids on September 21, 2024, you can help youth like Amayah find a brighter future.

*Name changed for patient privacy.