Upopolis is Canada’s only private social network for kids and teens in hospitals and healthcare facilities and clinics. Upopolis launched at McMaster Children’s Hospital in 2007 and today includes over 25 hospitals and treatment centres, providing thousands of youth facing diagnosis' and hospital experiences with access to this therapeutic network. A network that connects youth to one another and reliable resources, a tool used by health care professionals to offer support beyond the hospital walls and an opportunity to empower their patients.

Here's what we achieved in 2017!

  • We reached 27 hospitals and organizations in Canada offering Upopolis to their youth. The new hub and spoke model we developed allows community hospitals, organizations and camps to partner with us too.
  • 24 crew spaces are available for youth to join on Upopolis. What is a crew space? These are diagnosis specific spaces, where youth can meet others with their diagnosis and find information and links especially for them.
  • The Upopolis team expanded. Now we have four certified child life specialists with over 50 combined years’ experience- that is an amazing team for our partner hospitals and their youth to have access to.
  • Upopolis underwent a visual refresh. Yes, the platform now has a new look with five new themes for users to select. The new themes and features were an action item identified the youth.
  • Upopolis youth established their own youth advisory council. Having youth from across the country (and maybe further) working on the same projects- so much potential and expertise!!!!
  • We had more youth then ever join the Upopolis volunteer program. Currently, we have 14 users across the country active on Upopolis as Upal and Umentors. Not only are they gaining volunteer hours, but their leadership and mentor skills are growing too!
  • The team hosted an exhibit at the Association of Child Life Professional Annual Meeting. The team went out to meet with child life professionals outside of Canada to gage their interest in offering Upopolis to their patients. The team also hosted exhibits at the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals Conference and the Paediatric Diabetes Network Professional Development in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Each month the team sends 600+ users and health care professional a Upopolis programming newsletter, called Unews. This newsletter helps to keep front line staff at the hospital up to date on what’s happening on Upopolis, perfect for answering youth’s questions or building their knowledge for when inviting youth to create a Upopolis account. It’s a perfect way to help with youth engagement too! 

Upopolis has really helped me get through a lot! Being able to connect with other kids and teens going through treatment has really opened my eyes. Always knowing I have support from all the Upopolis users and that I support everyone is a really great thing to be able to turn to during treatment.
— Maggie, 13 years old
Upopolis is awesome! I love how you can chat with people and email friends, but I think the best part has to be how you can create your own space about anything you want and then invite people to join! Upopolis is something that I go on almost every day! I love it and if I had one word to describe it, I would say FUN!
— Jessica, 11 years old
I like having the external user feature and being able to add my family and friends ‘cause it allows me to chat, email and share photos with my cousin from across the country. Plus, Upopolis is like Facebook in a way, but since my Mom wants me to be a little older before I get it, this is a way for me to share everything that’s going on with my family and friends!
— Tressa, 12 years old
I don’t have any other social media than Upopolis so I really like using it because it is kinda like Facebook but better, LOL. Also on Facebook, you can’t go to someone directly for advice because they could be someone you don’t want to meet but on Upopolis you can trust.
— Maria, 13 years old