April 27, 2022
Funding to support organizations that assist families, workers and marginalized communities
MONTRÉAL, April 27, 2022 /CNW/ - Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) announced it is investing $1.1 million to support mental health services for families, workers and marginalized communities in Quebec. This investment is one of Sun Life's many actions to build mentally healthy and resilient communities. The funding will support four organizations over the next three years in their work to develop and maintain targeted mental health programs. It will allow them to expand access to care and reach more people through awareness and prevention.
The investment will support the following organizations:
"We're committed to investing in mental health to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for Quebec," said Robert Dumas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Quebec. "This investment is one of many initiatives supporting mental health services for everyone in the province. The new funding will help these four organizations strengthen mental health awareness, prevention and treatment services for more vulnerable populations. We're confident that, by joining together with our partners, our efforts will provide meaningful support to the people of Quebec, youth and adults alike."
Sun Life's actions on the mental health front align with its purpose of helping people live healthier lives by ensuring as many people as possible have access to the resources and support they need.
Sun Life's actions are focused on three key areas:
(1) Supporting employee well-being in Quebec and Canada with mental health initiatives
As the largest provider of group benefits in the country, Sun Life is committed to improving access to care and helping employers in Quebec and Canada create mentally healthy workplaces. Sun Life has launched several initiatives to empower Clients to take charge of their health, including:
(2) Mobilizing the business community around mental health
From the earliest days of the pandemic, Sun Life Canada and Sun Life Quebec presidents Jacques Goulet and Robert Dumas have been thought leaders mobilizing the business community around the importance of prioritizing mental health. Embedding mental health in every business strategy helps to promote employee well-being and healthy workplaces. They have discussed mental health with the business community in Quebec and have spoken on the topic on numerous occasions.
In November 2020, Jacques Goulet brought together 70 presidents, CEOs and C-suite leaders to discuss the mental health crisis in Canada. The forum highlighted the important role of CEOs and presidents in taking action and supporting employees' mental health. Sun Life has also been presenting sponsor of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Business Leaders' Summit in 2021 and 2022. The summit brings together leaders from across Canada to elevate mental health as a workplace priority. Jacques is also a Campaign Cabinet Member with CAMH, one of the world's leading mental health research centres.
(3) Investing in mental health foundations and organizations
For years, Sun Life has supported foundations and organizations whose mission is to support mental well-being in our communities. Today's $1.1 million investment follows on other recently announced commitments, including:
The pandemic has worsened the mental health crisis, and the need to support mental health in Quebec and Canada has never been greater.
Even before the pandemic, mental health issues were the leading cause of workplace disability. Each week, 500,000 employees miss work due to mental health. Mental illness is rising sharply, increasing 27% from 2014 to 2019. In 2020, mental health made up 35% of Sun Life's long-term disability claims, more than double all cancer-related claims.
Forty percent of people report worsening mental health since the onset of the pandemic. Younger generations are no exception, with the impacts likely to be felt for years to come.
That's why investing in mental health programs is vital. Supporting the needs and well-being of vulnerable populations is key to a healthy and sustainable future for Quebec and Canada. To learn more about how Sun Life is making a difference in the community, read the 2021 Sustainability Report.
Sun Life in the community
Sun Life is committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life. Community wellness is an important part of its sustainability commitment. By actively supporting the communities in which Sun Life lives and works, the organization can help build a positive environment for Clients, employees, advisors, and shareholders. Its philanthropic support focuses on health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, and care initiatives. Mental health is also a key priority, with support for programs and organizations with an emphasis on building resilience and coping skills.
Sun Life also partners with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Its employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering more than 16,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada.
SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada