Decline In Mental Health Is A Growing Problem

Haven Toronto announces a five-year partnership with The Yuen Family Foundation to address an immediate and rapidly growing need for mental health supports.



Together, The Yuen Family Foundation and Haven Toronto will reduce barriers to mental health care for elder men impacted by poverty, homelessness and social isolation.

Days after releasing the 2021 Statement Of Impact, with data from last year showing a 380 percent increase in mental health supports, Haven Toronto will extend mental health care for elder men who already face challenges accessing vital supports.

“Many of the men that we see don't come to us with mental health issues, but they certainly develop them,” says Lauro Monteiro, Executive Director of Haven Toronto. He adds, “One study shows that after being homeless three months you're going to likely develop depression. Prior to the pandemic, many of our clients have been homeless for five or more years. A few have been for over a decade. The numbers are going to continue to increase.”

Camilla Wong, Co-founder of The Yuen Family Foundation and geriatrician at an inner-city hospital says, “I have cared for many older men experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. A common theme in my encounters when I ask them who is in their social circle of trust, Haven Toronto kept coming up again and again. I have seen the positive impact that Haven Toronto has had on the mental health and well-being of socioeconomically vulnerable older men.”

The Yuen Family Foundation’s Ivan Yuen, Co-founder, says, “The mental health program is a good example of the work that the organization does. We also recognize how important continuity is and we would like to ensure its funding over the next five years so clients can reliably benefit from the program.”

Haven Toronto will provide mental health supports, system navigation and referrals. In keeping with the drop-in centre’s low-barrier approach to support, no appointment is necessary.

On any given night in Toronto, there are 10,000 people who are homeless, well over one-third are 50 and older, 75 percent are men. Many are clients of Haven Toronto.

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