IN support of Mental Health Week (October 7-14), RBC Royal Bank recently announced the introduction of the RBC Children's Mental Health Project, which will see grants valued at $100,000 each being awarded to three charitable or non-government institutions whose programmes focus on mental health in children.
First launched in 2008 in Canada, the Mental Health Project is an on-going commitment by the bank to raise awareness about mental health issues that affect young people. This is the first year that the project was expanded to include RBC operations in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region, including The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.
"While support for children's mental health was always a focus for RBC Royal Bank, this year will be the first grant award of its kind for Jamaica," said Roger Cogle, market head, personal banking.
"Locally there is a need to dispel the myths of mental illness and to educate ourselves about the signs and symptoms of such issues in children. Mental health is at the very foundation of a child's readiness for interacting with the world and success in school," he added.
Through the project, RBC will provide funding to community-based and hospital programmes that are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children. To date, the RBC Children's Mental Health Project has committed more than CDN$16 million to support early intervention and public education programmes. Public education is an important fact in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.
RBC Royal Bank invites non-governmental organisations and charitable organisations to submit proposals for funding. The bank is interested in organisations whose education programmes increase understanding, awareness and provides access to credible information about children's mental health issues.