May 4, 2012

Ottawa high school students stand together for mental health

On Monday, May 7, over 800 students from four Ottawa high schools will gather at Earl of March Secondary School to break the silence about youth mental health and find out what we can all do to help.  The event marks National Child and Youth Mental Health Day (May 7) and the start of Mental Health Week (May 7-13).

“Young people who are struggling need to know that they are not alone,” says Joanne Lowe, Executive Director of the Youth Services Bureau. “By talking openly about mental health, we can support youth and families in our community directly and make it easier to reach out for help.”

“Our commitment is to make sure that services are there for youth when they need them,” says Chief Charles Bordeleau, Chair of the Youth Services Bureau Foundation. “We need to rally the community on May 7 to support crucial services like the YSB Crisis Line and walk-in clinic.”

All day on May 7, anyone can support the cause by going to iTunes and downloading the new song “You Have the Power”, by Canadian actress and singer Jasmine Richards. Inspired by the tragic story of Kanata high school student Jamie Hubley, Richards created the song and a video featuring students from her former high school, Iroquois Ridge High in Oakville, Ontario. Proceeds will be donated to YSB’s mental health services at the request of the Hubley family.

Richards and students from Iroquois Ridge High will perform at the event in Ottawa and launch her campaign. Best known for her roles in Camp Rock and other Disney/Family Channel sitcoms, Jasmine wanted to do something to inspire youth to be strong and resilient and to support each other.  Her goal is raise $100,000 in a single day.

Chief Bordeleau will speak to students at the May 7 event and will make an announcement about further funding support for the YSB Foundation. Other speakers at the event will include Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Allan Hubley and Toronto recording artist Errol Lee.

Resources are available if you or someone you know needs to talk or is thinking about suicide right now. Reach out and get help if you need it.


YSB’s 24/7 Crisis Line

Within Ottawa 613-260-2360

Outside Ottawa 1-877-377-7775 (toll-free) (0 to 18 years)


Crisis Line

Within Ottawa 613-722-6914

Outside Ottawa 1-866-996-0991 (toll-free) (16 years and over)


View the You Have the Power video below:

You Have The Power

About YSB

Founded in 1960, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) is one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit agencies serving youth in Ottawa and is a registered charity. YSB offers over 30 programs and serves 3,000 youth and families every month in the areas of youth engagement, housing and homelessness, mental health, youth justice and employment.


Media contacts:

Lina Harper

Communications Officer, YSB
613-729-1000 x1206