Saint John, NB — The YMCA of Greater Saint John is pleased to receive a $20,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund to support the Rainbows program.
The Rainbows Program fosters emotional healing among children and youth experiencing a loss from a life-altering crisis. The curriculum is designed to assist individuals grieving a death, divorce or any other painful transition in a safe and supportive environment, where they can process their feelings through a unique peer support program. The Rainbows volunteers facilitate these programs at accredited sites from Sussex to St. Stephen.
The grant received will provide course materials for 170 participants, and will support training 12 new Rainbows facilitators.
“The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant will support 170 children this school year, through programs where everyone feels safe and supported,” said Shilo Boucher, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Saint John.
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to provide a $20,000 Community Fund grant to support children and youth through the Rainbows Program at the YMCA of Greater Saint John. The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports a wide range of organizations that are working to expand access to mental health care, supports and services for more Canadians in communities around the country,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk.
Families in transition can rarely afford additional financial strain such as grief support services, and the Rainbows program is provided at no cost to the participants and is delivered in the school system, which makes it easily accessible to those that need it the most.
“During times of loss, we need our grief to be witnessed and to experience connection with others. The YMCA’s Rainbows program does just that by providing a safe space for kids to feel seen, heard, and understood. Kids learn that they are not alone and that their feelings are normal and evolving,” said Kerry Casey, Facilitator of the YMCA’s Rainbow’s Program.
The need for this program continues to grow, with more schools requesting to offer the program to their students. Due to many changes in families and society today, children and youth participating in the program may be from many walks of life and experience grief for several reasons, including death of a close family member or friend, separation or divorce in a family, blended families and step-parent situations, children whose families have experienced abuse or violence, families going through the adoption process or suicides.
Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
About YMCA of Greater Saint John
The YMCA of Greater Saint John is a trusted charity that delivers lasting personal and social change. We are committed to nurturing the potential of children, youth and families, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community. There are 19 locations throughout Greater Saint John. Together, we serve more than 22,000 people. Our focus on providing a sense of belonging and accessibility means we serve people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life. We believe that giving them the opportunities they need to reach their full potential will help them live healthier and happier lives.