Raymond James Partners with Umind.ca To Help Deliver Canada’s Premiere Online Resource for Child & Youth Mental Health Care Professionals

Raymond James Partners with Umind.ca To Help Deliver Canada’s Premiere Online Resource for Child & Youth Mental Health Care Professionals

Toronto, Ontario… In a new and exciting partnership, investment dealer Raymond James Ltd., is now Presenting Sponsor of Umind.ca (Umind)– an international online community dedicated to helping child and youth mental health professionals, educators and student learners expand their expertise, collaborate and grow in their profession.  Umind accomplishes this through its vast library of resources, practical tools and online training opportunities for professionals in the mental health space. Developed by Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF), in collaboration with Umind’s clinical partner Lutherwood, and supported by its academic partner Mohawk College, this unique platform breaks down resource silos to build a virtual community globally connected in their commitment to improve the lives of children and youth and their families living with mental health issues. Umind’s registered members include frontline and administrative child and youth mental health staff, health care professionals, educators, post-secondary students and other professionals working with children and families, representing over 300 organizations within Canada and internationally.

Raymond James’ partnership will help expand the Umind Webinar Series, which was created in 2014 in response to an expressed need by mental health professionals for more accessible and practice-specific professional development opportunities. In 2018, Umind webinars will include such critical topics as, ‘How to Support Children and Youth Questioning Their Gender Identity’, ‘Legalization of Marijuana and the Impact on the Mental Health System’, and ‘Grief and Trauma in Mental Health’. Raymond James’ sponsorship dollars will also help Umind continue to grow its online collection of over 950 practical tools, promising interventions and valuable resources developed by children’s mental health treatment centres across Canada.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Umind,” says Peter Kahnert, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Marketing, “We look forward to working with the Umind team to grow this important resource to support children and youth living with mental illness and those professionals reaching out to help make a difference in the lives of many.”

According to the World Health Organization, 20 percent of the world’s children and youth have mental health disorders or issues.  This partnership comes at a time when the need for child and youth mental health information and resources has never been greater.

Kids’ Health Links Foundation Chairman and Co-founder, Basile Papaevangelou says, “It’s because of the heart and vision of companies like Raymond James that programs like Umind have a chance to fulfill their potential and make their greatest impact. Bridging business and social enterprise, this partnership is an example of what’s possible when companies step-up to the plate and partner with social services to help support the well-being of the communities in which they serve.”

 

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About Umind
Umind is a dynamic online community where mental health professionals access information, connect and share practical tools, knowledge, and training to help improve the lives of children and youth and their families living with mental health issues. It is an initiative launched and supported by Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and its clinical partner, Lutherwood. For more information, visit www.umind.ca.

About Lutherwood
For nearly 50 years, children, youth and their families have trusted Lutherwood’s mental health services to support them as they cope with serious behavioural, emotional and psychological challenges. The agency provides residential treatment and assessment, community and school-based support, counsels families, and operates a shelter for youth at risk of being homeless. For more information, please visit www.lutherwood.ca.

About Kids’ Health Links Foundation
Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. For more information about Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit www.kidshealthlinks.org.

About Raymond James
Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF) is a leading diversified financial services company providing wealth management for individual investors and families, capital markets, asset management, banking and other services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company has approximately 7,300 financial advisors in 3,000 locations throughout Canada, the United States and overseas. Total client assets under administration are US$693 billion. Public since 1983, the firm is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Additional information is available at www.raymondjames.ca.

 

For more information, please contact:

Umind
Marni Harold
info@umind.ca                 
519-884-1666, ext. 1206

Kids' Health Links Foundation
Basile Papaevangelou
basile@kidshealthlinks.org
647-880-3037

F. Peter Kahnert
Raymond James Ltd.
peter.kahnert@raymondjames.ca
416-777-7052

Upopolis Launches at Cape Breton Regional Hospital

Cape Breton Regional Hospital Brings a New Social Media Platform to Young Patients

Upopolis helps kids in hospital find medical information and stay safely connected to friends and other patients

Cape Breton, N.S. – Today, Cape Breton Regional Hospital paediatric patients join the Upopolis network, an innovative social media platform that helps young patients safely and securely access youth-friendly medical content, and stay connected with other patients as well as their families and friends while undergoing care.

Founded and created by Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS Health, Upopolis.com is Canada’s only private, secure and trusted online social network designed for kids and teens receiving medical care in hospitals and clinics. Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in youth-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient.

“Our unit functions on family centered care,” says Tracy Warren-Salt, Child Life Specialist, Pediatrics Unit, Cape Breton Regional Hospital. “We try to make the unit feel as much like home as possible.  Adding Upopolis is another way we can help reduce the anxiety of a hospital stay and make it as normal and positive an experience as possible for our patients and their families.”

In addition to remaining securely and privately connected with networks outside of the hospital or treatment centre while undergoing care, Upopolis also provides patients with familiar features of social networking such as personal profiles, newsfeed, instant chat, photo uploading and creating spaces based on common interests and/or diagnoses.

“Today, over 2,500 youth in children’s hospitals across Canada have been able to access Upopolis. This is made possible by the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Cape Breton Regional Hospital join our Upopolis family brings us one step closer to our goal of making Upopolis available across the country in every medical treatment facility that serves children and youth. We are excited for the patients to benefit from what the platform offers, and for them to take advantage of the opportunities for connection, collaboration and leadership that Upopolis brings to their hospital experience.”

KHLF and TELUS Health launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. Since then it has expanded to 24 additional hospitals and health organizations across Canada. The Upopolis team and TELUS Health also work together to adapt the program to meet the specific needs of each facility, whether adding French language capabilities or information specific to mental health.

“For youth undergoing medical treatment, research shows us that the ability for them to stay connected with their support network, both inside and outside of the hospital, is a significant part of the healing process,” said Paul Lepage, President, TELUS Health. “Through Upopolis and our extensive work using innovative technology to drive better health outcomes for Canadians, we are privileged to help youth stay connected to friends, family and others facing similar health challenges, as well as learn more about their health through access to online medical information in a safe and secure environment.”

About Cape Breton Regional

Cape Breton Regional Hospital, located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is the regional referral and trauma centre for Cape Breton Island. The hospital is home to the Cape Breton Cancer Centre, the An Cala Palliative Care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and renal dialysis unit. It offers a variety of general and specialized services including medicine, surgery, obstetrics, paediatrics, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, pulmonary, neurology and clinical support services.

About TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation

The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. These initiatives include: Upopolis — targeting healthy connections for paediatric patients; Upedia — providing resources supporting child life specialists; and UMIND — connecting professionals dedicated to child and youth mental health. For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: kidshealthlinks.org.

 

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For more information, please contact:

Krista Naugler
Kids’ Health Links Foundation
902-885-5002
krista@kidshealthlinks.org

Lynn Gilbert
Cape Breton Regional
902-567-7760
lynn.gilbert@nshealth.ca

Jill Yetman
TELUS Media Relations
416-992-2639
jill.yetman@telus.com

A New Social Media Platform for Victoria General Hospital’s Pediatric Patients

A New Social Media Platform for Victoria General Hospital’s Pediatric Patients

Helping kids in hospital find information, connections and support through Upopolis

Victoria, B.C. – Victoria General Hospital has become the first hospital on Vancouver Island to join Upopolis; an innovative social support platform and networking tool giving young patients safe and secure access to kid-friendly medical content. Plus patients will find Upopolis a vital link to their families, friends and schools while in hospital.

“We are pleased to support initiatives that help young patients feel empowered while in our care,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Not only is Upopolis an age-appropriate learning tool that brings children who face similar challenges together on their health-care journeys; it also helps kids be kids through familiar social media channels.”

Founded and created by Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS Health, Upopolis.com is Canada’s only private, secure and trusted online social network designed for kids and teens receiving medical care in hospitals and clinics.

“Through the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters, today more than 2,000 youth across Canada have been able to take advantage of Upopolis,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Victoria General Hospital join our Upopolis family puts us one step closer to our goal of making Upopolis available across the country in every medical treatment facility that serves children and teens, and we are forging ahead towards making that a reality.”

Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in kid-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient. 

“The Victoria General Hospital serves a diverse patient population from across Vancouver Island,” said Dr. Brendan Carr, President and CEO of Island Health. “Upopolis can provide online social support for our patients and help them connect with others in a safe way, stay connected to their communities, and relate to other children and youth on a similar health care journey.”

In addition to remaining secure and privately connected with networks outside of the hospital or treatment centre while undergoing care, Upopolis also provides patients with familiar features of social networking such as personal profiles, a newsfeed, instant chat, photo uploading and creating spaces based on common interests and/or diagnoses.

“For youth undergoing medical treatment, research shows us that the ability for them to stay connected with their support network, both inside and outside of the hospital, is a significant part of the healing process,” said Paul Lepage, President, TELUS Health. “Through Upopolis and our extensive work using innovative technology to drive better health outcomes for Canadians, we are privileged to help youth to stay connected to friends, family and others facing similar health challenges, as well as learn more about their health through access to online information in a safe and secure environment.”

KHLF and TELUS Health launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Since then it has expanded to 23 hospitals and health organizations across Canada. The Upopolis team and TELUS Health also work together to adapt the program to meet the specific needs of each facility, whether adding French language capabilities or information specific to mental health.

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About Island Health

Island Health, one of six health jurisdictions in British Columbia, provides health care and support services to more than 765,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.


With more than 19,000 staff, 1,900 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

 

About TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.

 

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation

The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. These initiatives include: Upopolis -- targeting healthy connections for paediatric patients; Upedia -- providing resources supporting child life specialists; and UMIND -- connecting professionals dedicated to child and youth mental health. For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: kidshealthlinks.org.

 

For more information, please contact:

Krista Naugler
Kids’ Health Links Foundation
902.885.5002
krista@kidshealthlinks.org

Chris Shewchuk
Island Health Communications
250.370.8377
christopher.shewchuk@viha.ca

Jill Yetman
TELUS Media Relations
416.992.2639
jill.yetman@telus.com

 

KHLF 2016 Year-in-Review

As we look back on an exciting year and reflect on our many successes, we celebrate the incredible accomplishments that make 2016 our best year ever! 

Upopolis

Key accomplishments in 2016:

  • Welcomed 6 new hospital partners, and 5 new community partners to the Upopolis community; doubling the number of total sites benefitting from the program.
  • Expanded our youth empowerment and volunteer opportunities with a new Umentor Training Program, a Uambassador role, and a series of contests that engage youth in creative and empowering ways.
  • In collaboration with Upopolis users, developed a video entitled, Ucope – showcasing youth across Canada sharing their positive coping strategies with other youth.
  • Established the Upopolis Grief and Bereavement “island”. This is a new application of the program and a separate section of Upopolis that was launched specifically for youth who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
  • Hosted a 2-day conference for key representatives from Upopolis sites. Delegates came from organizations across Canada. Important topics around youth empowerment and how to enrich site content and programming for youth were discussed.
  • Continued the development of engaging digital medical content for youth like this video, IWK Lab Mini Series, Part 1: Getting Results. Creating and curating enriched content for our Uknow library of medical related videos and resources.

Goals for 2017:

  • Take our first steps outside Canada. We are currently in discussions that would take Upopolis international with launches at children's hospitals in the United States and the UK within the year.
  • Double the Upopolis Grief and Bereavement "island" from 5 to 10 sites. 
  • Continue the development of engaging digital medical content for youth. Creating and curating enriched content for our Uknow library of medical related videos and resources within Upopolis.
  • Developing and executing a national Upopolis Communications and Marketing Strategy. Our aim is to raise awareness about Upopolis amoung Canadian youth, caregivers, health care professionals and potential partners; expanding the number of sites and ultimately the number of youth positively impacted by the program.

Umind

Key accomplishments in 2016:

  • Secured Mohawk College as an academic partner. Through this partnership, Umind will be incorporated within Mohawk College’s Human Services curriculum encompassing 17 programs, over 250 courses and nearly 1,000 graduates annually.
  • Significantly grew the Umind membership base - with an increase of 76% over 2015!
  • Released a new version of the Umind website, offering an improved user experience and exciting new features including a discussion board for members and an interactive contributor map. The updated site also offers more user-friendly access to resources and webinar recordings.
  • Completed 6 Umind webinars and increased the overall attendance and satisfaction of attendees over 2015.

Goals for 2017:

  • Increase membership by 80%.
  • Continue to build our important partnership with Mohawk College; presenting to all Human Services faculty, and engaging at a student level to increase awareness of the platform and the number of those using and benefitting from Umind.
  • Expand the Umind resource library - with a focus on 'hot topics' in child and youth mental health, and in topic areas where there are currently gaps in resources.

Upedia

Key accomplishments in 2016:

  • Launched Upedia 2.0, a new mobile-friendly website, offering loads of new resources for Child Life Professionals! 
  • Increased Upedia membership by 30% over 2015!
  • Delivered professional development value through Upedia webinars for a record number of attendees. 

Goals for 2017:

 

Celebrating Upopolis and 2016 -- What a year!

Upopolis has had it's biggest and best year ever! 2016 has been an exciting year of growth for KHLF's flagship program. As we approach the year's end, we celebrate the amazing accomplishments that have increased value to users, and have made it possible for Upopolis to positively impact many more children and youth across Canada.

Key successes include:

  • Welcomed 6 new hospital partners, and 5 new community partners to the Upopolis community; doubling the number of total sites benefitting from the program.
  • Expanded our youth empowerment and volunteer opportunities with a new Umentor Training Program, a Uambassador role, and a series of contests that engage youth in creative and empowering ways.
  • In collaboration with Upopolis users, developed a video entitled, Ucope – showcasing youth across Canada sharing their positive coping strategies with other youth.
  • Established the Upopolis Grief and Bereavement “island”. This is new application of the program and a separate section of Upopolis that was launched specifically for youth who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
  • Hosted a 2-day conference for key representatives from Upopolis sites. Delegates came from organizations across Canada. Important topics around youth empowerment and how to enrich site content and programming for youth were discussed.
  • Continued the development of engaging digital medical content for youth like this video, IWK Lab Mini Series, Part 1: Getting Results. Creating and curating enriching content for our Uknow library of medical related videos and resources.

With such an amazing year behind us, we are dreaming even bigger for 2017!

Here are some 2017 goals:

  • Taking our first steps outside Canada. We are currently in discussions that would take Upopolis international with launches at children's hospitals in the United States and the UK within the year.
  • Doubling the Upopolis Grief and Bereavement "island" from 5 to 10 sites. 
  • Continuing the development of engaging digital medical content for youth. Creating and curating enriched content for our Uknow library of medical related videos and resources within Upopolis.
  • Developing and executing a national Upopolis Communications and Marketing Strategy. Our aim is to raise awareness about Upopolis amoung Canadian youth, caregivers, health care professionals and potential partners; expanding the number of sites and ultimately the number of youth positively impacted by the program.

With strong momentum heading towards the new year, we need support to continue our great work and achieve our goals. Please click here to donate!

 

Mohawk College Partnership Expands Access to Child & Youth Mental Health Resources for Students and Faculty

Mohawk College Partnership Expands Access to Child & Youth Mental Health Resources for Students and Faculty

Hamilton, Ontario… As part of a knowledge exchange initiative, Mohawk College has become an academic partner with Umind to provide access to and heighten awareness of child and youth mental health (CYMH) resources for students, faculty, graduates, community partners, and CYMH professionals across Canada and globally. Developed by Kids’ Health Links Foundation with Umind’s clinical partner Lutherwood, Umind is a dynamic online platform for child and youth mental health professionals to share resources, advice, tips and techniques.

Through this partnership, Umind will be incorporated within Mohawk College’s Human Services curriculum encompassing 17 programs, over 250 courses and nearly 1,000 graduates annually. For the 900 agencies working with the Human Services Department, this partnership provides an online platform where they can access and contribute CYMH resources.  Other benefits of partnership include the opportunity for Mohawk students and CYMH professionals to actively network, share information and ideas through Umind’s online discussion board and webinars.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Umind. We are in the business of providing the best learning opportunities for our students and this partnership with Umind will allow students to access more resource information on Children and Mental Health”, says Neil McMahon, Acting Dean, Faculty of Community & Urban Studies.

As Umind’s clinical partner, we are thrilled to work with Mohawk College to exchange resources, tools and techniques that encourage insight and professional development, and positively impact children, youth and families facing mental health challenges,” said Kathy Payette, Lutherwood Director Community Mental Health Services and Umind Ambassador.

According to the World Health Organization, 20% of the world’s children and youth have mental health disorders or issues.  This partnership comes at a time when the need for child and youth mental health information and resources has never been greater.

Says Kids’ Health Links Foundation co-founder Basile Papaevangelou, “Through this partnership, two of the child and youth mental health profession’s leading organizations will be working together to meaningfully and positively develop and share much needed resources for today’s professionals and the many Mohawk graduates poised to join the CYMH  profession.”

 

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About Mohawk College
Mohawk College’s Faculty of Community & Urban Studies is pleased to partner with KHLF, Lutherwood and Umind for faculty and students in the School of Human Services to be able to access child and youth mental health resources.

Mohawk College, rated the #1 college in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area in student satisfaction for the last 6 years, is the college of choice for more than 14,000 full-time and 20,000 part-time students. For more information, visit www.mohawkcollege.ca.

About Umind
Umind is a dynamic online community where mental health professionals access information, connect and share practical tools, knowledge, and training to help improve the lives of children and youth and their families living with mental health issues. It is an initiative launched and supported by Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and its clinical partner, Lutherwood Institute for Children and Youth Mental Health. For more information, visit www.umind.ca.

About Lutherwood
Lutherwood is a not-for-profit health and social service organization that provides children’s mental health, employment and housing services to more than 16,600 people annually in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. For more information, visit www.lutherwood.ca 

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation
The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. For more information about Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: www.kidshealthlinks.org.

 

For more information, please contact:

Mohawk College                                                    Umind & Lutherwood                      Kids’ Health Links Foundation

Malorie Valade                                                        Marni Herold                                    April Ganong

malorie.valade@mohawkcollege.ca                      info@umind.ca                                  april@kidshealthlinks.org

905-575-1212, ext. 4466                                        519-884-1666, ext. 1206                  905-817-1717

 

Upedia launches newly redesigned website October 20th!

Based on feedback from Upedia members and with website design inspiration provided by RhythmQ , Upedia 2.0 offers a new world of resources for child life professionals across Canada and around the globe.  Here are a few ways Upedia 2.0 helps child life professionals connect, collaborate and access resources valuable for their professional development and that of their organizations:

Mobile Friendly: Enjoy exploring Upedia from your computer or any mobile device with our new dynamic, responsive design.

At-a-Glance Access:  From the Upedia home page, register for webinars, visit the Resource Library, connect, collaborate and more!

One-Click Resource Access: Find hundreds of child life professional resources lightening fast with the simple A-Z resource listing by topic or with keyword search.

Sharing Made Simple: Do you have a resource you’d like to share with other child life professionals? The new contribute function will make it super easy for you to  add your resources to Upedia’s growing library.

NEW Discussion Board:  Newly added, the Collaborate discussion board makes it easy for you to join conversations targeting today’s most important child life topics.

Live Learning: You’ll be able to earn Certificates of Participation listing professional development hours, when you attend Upedia’s real-time webinar events, presented by child life leaders on topics important to the child life community. 

Webinar Recordings:  Search the webinar archives to quickly locate recordings & handouts of previous Upedia online events.

Member Directory: Looking for someone from a specific organization?  Wish to connect with others in your area? Our searchable member directory can help.

NEW Interactive Contributor Map: A detailed map provides details on organizations that have contributed their resources to the Upedia Resource Library. 

It’s still FREE! With all of these improvements, Upedia remains a free online resource packed with valuable opportunities for professional growth for you and your organization.

Upopolis Now in Alberta!

On Wednesday June 29th, Stollery Children's Hospital launched Upopolis, becoming the first healthcare organization in Alberta to join this social network that connects hospitalized and chronically ill youth across Canada to one another, family and friends. 

“The Stollery has among the highest inpatient volumes in the country and serves a diverse patient population from across western Canada,” said Lois Wolgemuth, manager child life services, Stollery Children’s Hospital. “Upopolis can provide online social support for our patients and help them connect with others in a safe way, stay connected to their communities, and relate to other children and youth on a similar health care journey.”

Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in kid-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient.  

“Through the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters, today over 1,700 kids in children’s hospitals across Canada have been able to take advantage of Upopolis,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Stollery Children’s Hospital join our Upopolis family puts us a major step closer to our goal of bringing Upopolis to all Canadian children’s hospitals, of which there are now only 3 remaining. Our bigger vision is making Upopolis available in every medical treatment facility that serves children and teens across the country, and we are forging ahead towards making that a reality.”

For more info about this exciting event, check out the full press release here.  

Umind Selected as a Connected Site on New CAMH Portico Network

Umind is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of the first independent Connected Sites on the new CAMH Portico Network launched on January 21st. The Portico Network, built by CAMH in partnership with Bell, is an exciting new network of addiction and mental health sites from across Canada comprised of three main components:

1.    The core Portico site, created and maintained by the team in Education at CAMH
2.    Partner sites that are hosted on the Portico platform, but are editorially independent
3.    Connected Sites, such as Umind.ca, that are independent sites included in Portico’s search results

As a Connected Site, Umind is listed on Portico with a short description and link, making it easy for Portico’s national audience to access Umind’s wealth of information, which includes 800+ practical tools and interventions available online to Canada’s child and youth mental health professional community.

“Umind’s niche is providing proven, practical resources to its registered members. Being selected as a Connected Site on the Portico Network is an honour,” says Kathy Payette, Umind Mental Health Ambassador and Director of Community Mental Health Services at Lutherwood. “We look forward to sharing these valuable resources with the Portico Network audience and working with the CAMH and Portico team as they grow this important initiative.” 

Visit www.umind.ca  and www.porticonetwork.ca and start connecting with the growing number of child and youth mental health professionals, groups and resources available on these dynamic online communities.

For more information about Umind, please contact Umind Program Manager and Children’s Mental Health Ambassador Marni Herold at info@umind.ca

KHLF opens applications for research project

KHLF is currently accepting applications from organizations who are interested in undertaking a research project to investigate online social networking among chronically ill youth.  With the significant rise in children and youth’s accessibility to wireless phones, text messaging, and online activities, there is also a growing rise in the use of social networking sites among children and youth.

The primary objective of this research grant is to increase the literature base examining the use of online support networks by chronically ill youth aged 10-18 years of age. Up to $40,000 in grant funding for research activities that take place over a 1 year (12 month) period is available. Organizations interested in applying can click here to access the KHLF 2015 Research Grant RFP and the KHLF Research Grant Application Form. If you have any questions, please email KHLF Program Director April Ganong at april@kidshealthlinks.org.

TELUS Community Boards donate $27,500 to KHLF!

Ottawa and Vancouver TELUS Community Boards Help Hospitalized Kids Stay Connected

(Toronto, ON) – Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) is excited to announce that we’ve received grant funding from the TELUS Ottawa and TELUS Vancouver Community Boards in the amounts of $12,500 and $15,000, respectively. Two-thirds of each grant will be donated to The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and BC Children’s Hospital in support of their UPOPOLIS programs. These funds will support the socialization and integration of UPOPOLIS Version 2.0 into therapeutic care and the daily practice of child life specialists, who care for children and youth during a very scary and challenging experience in their lives. This new version of the program, launched in 2014, has an updated user-interface, enhanced functionality and refreshed look and feel, making it even easier for hospitalized children and youth to connect with one another, with family and with friends. The balance of the funds will be used by Kids’ Health Links Foundation to provide support and develop best practices for UPOPOLIS in consultation with CHEO and BC Children’s Hospital.

“My heartfelt thanks go out to the TELUS Team for their powerful commitment to strengthen communities where they serve and for truly living the philosophy, ‘we give where we live’,” says Basile Papaevangelou, Chairman of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “It is because of TELUS and TELUS Community Boards’ ongoing support of our Foundation and the work that we do that makes it possible for us to positively impact the lives of young hospital patients across the country.”

Founded and created by KHLF and powered by TELUS Health, www.UPOPOLIS.com is Canada’s only private, secure and trusted online social network designed just for kids and teens receiving medical care in hospitals and youth treatment centres. UPOPOLIS provides familiar features of social networking, such as personal profiles, micro-blogging, newsfeed, instant chat, and photo uploading while giving patients the opportunity to stay up to date with schoolwork, and navigate through child-friendly health and wellness information verified and approved by health care professionals. Since 2009, TELUS Community Boards across Canada have donated $205,000 to Kids’ Health Links Foundation in support of UPOPOLIS implementations in children’s hospitals and UPOPOLIS program development.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.8 billion of annual revenue and 13.5 million customer connections, including 8.0 million wireless subscribers, 3.2 million wireline network access lines, 1.45 million Internet subscribers and 888,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by Executive Chairman Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 11 community boards across Canada have led the company’s support of grassroots charities and will have contributed $47 million in support of 3,700 local charities by the end of 2014, enriching the lives of more than two million Canadian children and youth. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation

The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. These initiatives include: UPOPOLIS — targeting healthy connections for pediatric patients; UPEDIA — providing resources supporting child life specialists; and UMIND — connecting professionals dedicated to child and youth mental health.

We believe that positive emotional well-being can be fostered by maintaining family connections and encouraging active social participation. By providing technology that enables this well-being through UPOPOLIS, we hope to help children heal faster and better overcome traumatic medical experiences.

KHLF and TELUS Health first launched the UPOPOLIS Program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton and since then it has expanded to 13 additional hospitals and health organizations across Canada including: BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver; IWK Health Centre in Halifax; CHEO in Ottawa; The Hospital for Sick Children and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto; CHU Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre; Montréal Lutherwood Youth Treatment Center in Waterloo; London Hospital for Sick Children in London; Emily’s House Pediatric Palliative Care Hospice in Toronto; Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John’s; Youth Treatment Centre in Paradise; and the Youth Addictions Treatment Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor.

For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: www.kidshealthlinks.org.

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For more information, please contact:

April Ganong
Kids’ Health Links Foundation
905-817-1717
april@kidshealthlinks.org

Sarah Arden
TELUS Community Affairs – Ottawa
613-683-1710
sarah.arden@telus.com

Nicole MacLellan
TELUS Community Affairs – Vancouver
604-648-5862
nicole.maclellan@telus.com