Shoppers Drug Mart donates more than $500,000 to Canadian Mental Health Association; Funds to support innovative new approach to improving mental health in communities

TORONTO, June 16, 2021 – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) today welcomes a donation of more than $500,000 made by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc on behalf of the company and its Associate owners.

The donation will enhance and expand CMHA’s cross-Canada network of community-based mental health and well-being learning centres – often called “Recovery Colleges.” The centres are welcoming spaces that help all people, including women, families and vulnerable groups, access the support they need in an environment that is healthy, inclusive and safe.

In the unique Recovery College model, mental health professionals work together with people with lived experience of mental health issues to create and deliver free courses and materials. The program also supports anyone looking to enhance their self-care skills, overall sense of well-being or develop the confidence they need to face life’s challenges. Recovery Colleges are open to anyone regardless of their mental health status.

“Recovery Colleges are all about providing an empowering learning environment where the people are genuine, and the knowledge is practical,” says Margaret Eaton, National CEO, CMHA. “These centres welcome everyone, whatever your mental health goals. We are thrilled to be able to grow and strengthen our network of Recovery Colleges across Canada through the generous support of Shoppers Drug Mart, its LOVE YOU program and store associates – especially at a time when the need for mental health support is so great.”

The donation celebrates the 10th anniversary of the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program, which partners with women’s health organizations to support women during difficult times and make an impact locally.

The LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program is the embodiment of Shoppers Drug Mart’s commitment to putting women’s health first. While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all Canadians, women and men have not been impacted equally when it comes to mental health. Recent research from CMHA and the University of British Columbia found that nearly half of Canadian women (45 per cent) say that their mental health has declined since the onset of the pandemic, significantly higher than the 35 per cent reported by men.

“Every woman has the right to the care and support she needs to be healthy and safe – but many face challenges that are tough to overcome alone,” said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart.  “Our commitment is really about addressing root causes and systemic issues. The LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart program is about putting women’s health first and that’s why our partnership with CMHA is so important. They are doing work that is critical for building healthy communities, and we are in a unique position to help. Today’s donation will allow us to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of Canadian women.”

The donation to CMHA includes a $300,000 grant from Shoppers Drug Mart in support of the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart™ program, as well as more than $100,000 fundraised directly by Shoppers Drug Mart Associates, with a matched donation from Shoppers Drug Mart. Additional funds for CMHA are being raised this year through in-store fundraising and through the Shoppers Drug Mart annual Run for Women.

Last year, Shoppers Drug Mart™ raised and granted over $7.5 million to more than 450 women’s health organizations and initiatives across Canada.  This year, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart, an additional $1 million will be donated to organizations supporting women’s whole health, women’s mental health and women’s shelters is the ™– throughout 2021.