The RiPL Effect: Increasing Youth Access to Mental Health Care

January 26, 2022

Members of RiPL and HRH Foundation CEO, Sandra Sualim, at the Cheers to RiPL event!

Thank you to each and every member of our Rising Philanthropic Leaders (RiPL) and their network of donors for raising $70,000 for the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) at Humber River Hospital. This support will help young people access mental health services when they need it most.

The UCC is currently in its fourth year of providing essential mental health services to the Humber community. The Clinic helps patients who do not require inpatient care but do need additional support – this is usually through access to a psychiatrist within two weeks of their ED visit. Patients are offered up to five subsequent appointments to stabilize them and help determine their needs. The goal is to connect them with community resources for further support and they can also be integrated into a program like Humber’s own Transition Day Program.

The funds raised by RiPL (during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic) will go towards expanding the UCC by hiring an additional part-time social worker, so our teams can help even more patients.

Changing and Saving Lives

Samantha, a Social Worker at the UCC.

The UCC has treated hundreds of patients, giving them hope for the future. Samantha, a social worker in the UCC recently shared the life-changing difference this donor-funded program is making in the lives of youth, like Tatiana.*

“Tatiana was 10 years old when she sought help through an online mental health service. Eventually her mother brought Tatiana to the Apotex Emergency Department at Humber. From here, the UCC clinicians spoke with her and found that she was struggling with anxiety and depression. Tatiana saw a lot of conflict between her parents and struggled to make and keep friends.

Our goal was to create more safety for her and to figure out the underlying issues that made her feel bad. Tatiana received therapy to help her and her mother identify and express emotions and be more aware about techniques to manage anxiety and depression. We also helped to connect her with longer-term private therapy, and grief counselling. Her family doctor will play a role in monitoring her medication after her discharge from the UCC.”

Emerging Leaders and Aspiring Philanthropists

Alison Chick, a Director of Humber River Hospital Foundation and a member of RiPL speaking at Cheers to RiPL event.

Now, the Foundation and RiPL are looking ahead to the next two years to see where they will make their next impact. At its core, RiPL is a group of ambitious, forward-thinkers who want to make a positive impact on the world that starts with Humber River Hospital. Together, they decide on what innovative program or project at the Hospital they’ll raise funds for collectively as a group and rally in their networks to join in on the fun.

Alison Chick, a Director of Humber River Hospital Foundation and a member of RiPL, shares her perspective on the team’s impact:

“I’m so proud of what RiPL has accomplished. I have two young kids and my husband is an anaesthesiologist in Toronto, so we understand how difficult the pandemic has been for families and the toll it’s taken on our healthcare system. But kids who struggle with mental illness have had an especially difficult time. That’s why we chose to support Humber’s Child & Adolescent Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic. We wanted to help kids in their time of need, and I’m so grateful we had the opportunity to do that at Humber.”

RiPL members and guests alongside Dave Welbourn at Cheers to RiPL event.

Join RiPL Today!

If you’d like to be a part of RiPL, click here for more information on how to join, or contact Dave Welbourn at or Shelly Koren at to start the conversation.

*Name has been changed to Tatiana for the comfort of the patient and family.