The Cause

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

As the largest navigation program 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 problem. 5 out of 6 of those will not receive the treatment they need. That’s because young people living in psychological pain 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 13 to 26 who have 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 and throughout this pandemic, 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 with mental illness and addiction.

Team members partner with youth, 13 to 26 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. Sunybrook’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.

Allisa’s Story

Allisa was 23 years old when she reached out to the Family Navigation Project (FNP) at Sunnybrook. She had been working multiple jobs, seven days a week.

It was in the middle of the pandemic, when she unexpectedly found herself out of work. It was a difficult transition for Allisa, who is ambitious and hard working. As the pandemic continued, she found her mental health worsened. Traumatic memories and emotions from the past that had been blocked from her memory, began to surface.

She realized that she had been busying herself with work because she was numbing the pain from repressed trauma, sexual abuse and violence that she had experienced.

Allisa says she found it incredibly hard to find help. She didn’t know where to turn or how to begin. After researching online, emailing and calling various organizations, she finally found someone who recommended that she reach out to Sunnybrook’s FNP.


“At the time that I was going through my struggles it was tough just doing the simple things in life… I just remember feeling super hopeless.”

After contacting her navigator at FNP, Allisa was connected with a therapist who specialized in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to help her deal with her past trauma. After the first call with her new therapist, Allisa broke down in tears because she knew that she had found someone who could finally help her.

And not only did her FNP navigator find a therapist for her, but she also continued to check in on Allisa on a regular basis.

Allisa says that having her navigator by her side through her journey of recovery, “feels like having a guardian angel.”