June 10th & 11th 2021

PhiLab Western Hub Regional Conference

The Place of Philanthropy in Community Mental Health

June 10th and 11th



The tragic suicide of a university student, Samwel Uko, after having sought out help for his mental health at the Regina General Hospital emergency ward last spring, is only a glimpse into a myriad of mental health concerns that have surfaced with the COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of Canada. A record of over-dose deaths from opioids, especially in Western Canada, has made health officials deem it a crisis. The heightened disparities in access to mental health supports make the situation we find ourselves in seem dire. With the entire country’s energy directed at fighting the pandemic, government finances and staff may be currently stretched too thin to be able to properly address these pressing issues. What then is the place of philanthropy in filling the gaps and supporting our mental wellbeing?


The Western Hub is seeking answers to this question by facilitating a discussion on the philanthropic action around mental health with researchers, foundations, philanthropic organizations and practitioners in Western Canada during a 2-day virtual conference to be held on June 10 and 11, 2021. Our two key objectives are:

1) Understand the current state of philanthropy with respect to community mental health (including access to mental health supports) in each of the four western provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This is to be achieved by partnering with practitioners to identify challenges in this subsector of public health, and

2) Establish a collaborative philanthropic research agenda for the Western Canada region, which includes the different actors involved.

Conference organizers: Dr. Iryna Khovrenkov and Dr. Lynn Gidluck, of the University of Regina.

For more information, contact: Clarine Mukendi, fundersinthewest@gmail.com

The full program and registration link will be made available soon