Mental Health Support for Childhood Cancer Survivors

$1M Donation to Help POGO Transitions Program Expand Services

POGO is a proud recipient of a $1M donation from the Slaight Family Foundation as part of their $30M Mental Health Initiative supporting 19 Canadian organizations.

The funding, divided equally over four years, enables expansion of the POGO School and Work Transitions Program. This program supports childhood cancer survivors facing significant learning challenges—resulting from their cancer and/or treatment—which can interfere with their ability to achieve their educational and career goals. Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 on the mental and emotional well-being of childhood cancer survivors has been substantial. Many are experiencing heightened anxiety regarding school or job security. Due to underlying conditions they may have as a result of their disease or its treatment, they fear they are at higher risk for developing complications if they catch COVID-19.

POGO Counsellors work one-on-one with survivors to help them develop plans and implement strategies to improve their academic or employment success, which in turn supports their mental health and emotional well-being. POGO will expand school- and work-related counselling to childhood cancer survivors, including services for francophone survivors and youth still on treatment, and grow the skill- and community-building Survivor-to-Survivor Network. We will also enhance program evaluation by incorporating outcomes related to survivor mental health and emotional well-being.

This generous investment, the largest donation from a family foundation in POGO’s history, helps POGO achieve an objective of the Childhood Cancer Care Plan to improve access to psychosocial and mental health services for survivors. It also demonstrates confidence and trust by a prominent donor in POGO to positively impact the childhood cancer care system, in particular care for childhood cancer survivors. 

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