The World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic changed our communities, our country, and our world. Public Health measures, critical to health and safety, led to the necessary closure of many facilities where people form and grow their relationships, including places and spaces that deliver critical programs to youth in need.

Mental health challenges did not stop during the pandemic, and neither did we.
During this time of uncertainty, Big Brothers Big Sisters is grateful to be able to report that we were still able to mentor the young people of the RMWB, who were facing increased anxiety, fear, worry and stress.

The children and families we serve were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loneliness and social isolation can be difficult for all of us, but vulnerable families and children suffered the most. In fact, many children and young people are now facing increased adversities in their homes as:

  • 44% of Canadian households have suffered job loss or reduced hours with over 1.3 million Canadians applying for EI benefits during covid
  • Over 6 million people applied for the Covid Emergency Benefit in Canada
  • Domestic abuse shelters saw a dramatic increase in reports of family violence
  • Children’s helplines reported a 350% increase in calls from kids experiencing anxiety and mental health concerns

Neuroscience research demonstrates that stable, caring relationships are essential for shielding youth from the negative effects of toxic stress. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors will always be there when kids need them most.

That time is now.

Big Brother Big Sisters is committed to maintaining and supporting the vital mentoring relationships we create in order to fight the effects that social isolation had on our most vulnerable youth.

Life-changing mentoring relationships were one of the few essential services we continued to provide to youth through the COVID-19 pandemic.