For immediate release Inc partners with United Way KFL&A to sponsor Youth Peer Support Program
The program will provide safe, personalized mental-health assistance to KFL&A youth

Kingston, ON (August 31, 2021) – The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington is pleased to announce an important new partnership with global food supplier Inc. The locally based company will generously support the Youth Peer Support Program, which provides a safe, personalized path to mental health recovery through sharing and self-help practices.

The Youth Peer Support Program is a community-driven initiative that was identified by a special youth mental health committee spearheaded by Kingston Health Sciences Centre and United Way KFL&A. The committee has broad representation from the community, including youth, psychiatrists, health-care providers, psychologists, agencies working with youth, addictions and mental health services, educators, community members, police and emergency physicians.

Through conversations and discussions, the committee learned of multiple challenges youth in crisis often face when they are discharged from hospital or other treatment facilities with few supports. Youth members of the committee indicated that having a peer walk with them through this experience would be a tremendous help during the transition.

“While there are examples of peer support for adults in mental health services, there is a need for one for youth in our community,” said Bhavana Varma, President and CEO United Way KFL&A. “The need for a coordinated community peer support program for youth in KFL&A has been identified through the work of our youth homelessness collective impact initiative, including input and recommendations from youth. With support from this program can move forward and help youth in our community.”

To run the Peer Support program, a coordinator will be hired to assist with recruitment, screening, and training of youth peers. 

“Yupi is committed to fostering community development based on four social concerns: Food, mental health, education and housing,” explained Sean Stewart, Inc’s CEO. “Working in partnership with United Way definitely makes the journey quite rewarding and allows us to jointly make a significant impact”.

With Inc’s support, United Way will work closely with partner agencies to ensure the effective delivery and evaluation of the Youth Peer Support Program. This approach will limit potential fragmentation of services, especially around crisis contact points for youth requiring help and services.

For more information about United Way KFL&A’s Collective Impact work on Youth Homelessness and background for the Peer Support Program visit


About United Way of KFL&A
United Way works with individuals, organizations and key partners in KFL&A to build and strengthen our community bringing people and resources together to facilitate change. Our vision is a future where people are self-sufficient in a community, where individuals live with hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. Stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and look for regular updates on our website at



Media Contacts:
Mandy Pasch, Manager, Marketing and Communications
United Way KFL&A

Rossemary Schaeffer Nogueira, Social Responsibility Lead Inc