Help Us Race to the Start Line!


Help The Grief Centre "Race to the Start Line".
Floating Candles

What We Did

Dr. Jay Charitable Foundation

The Dr. Jay Charitable Foundation pivoted from supporting multiple projects and charities in the health sector to working to help found (and then in 2006 to exclusively fund) the Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre. When Dr. Jay and others learned that the board of directors, at the time, of the Dr. Jay's Childrens Grief Centre had made the unfortunate decision to close DJCGC permanently as of May 31st, 2021, they immediately set about to begin a consultation process with concerned parties to explore what could be done in the face of this closure. That process, and the concern for the large void in grief services for children, led to the creation of 'The Grief Centre' in November 2021.

What We Do Now

The Grief Centre

The Grief Centre has formed a Board and has officially and formally changed our mission and name. We have gathered a coalition of experts, donors, former clients, founders of the original grief centre and have been working hard to be ready to open our doors this winter (roughly one year after the Board of the former grief centre mandated its closure). We will provide one-on-one grief counselling to children and youth, group programming, resources, parents groups, and more. Please consider helping us reach this important goal.

What's New?!

Dr. Jay was recently asked to participate on a Zoomer Radio show to talk about The Grief Centre! You can watch the full interview by clicking the link below:

Zoomer Radio Interview
Understanding Grief with Ellen and Bevvy Schwartz and Dr. Jay Bacher and FA: Halle Burnett and Lily Librach | Finding Your Bliss

Dr. Jay was also invited to submit a brief article in "Finding Your Bliss" magazine. Read the article here:

Finding bliss from grief | Finding Your Bliss

Why We Changed

It is estimated that more than 5% of all children and youth will lose a Parent/Caretaker or Sibling in our country. This does not take into account the devastation of COVID-19.

There is a crisis in our communities; thousands of children and youth are not aware or able to access critical help and resources when experiencing death and dying in their family. An alarming compounding factor for these children and families has been the frightening state of mental health generally:

  • In Ontario, the proportion of teenagers reporting moderate to serious mental distress increased from 24% in 2013, to 34% in 2015 and to 39% in 2017.
  • By 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Canadian youth.
  • Before COVID-19, over half the Emergency Room visits for our children were mental health-related.
  • Between 2009 and 2014, admissions to hospital for intentional self-harm increased by 110% in Canadian girls.
  • Addictions were at an all-time high for children and youth and reported at earlier ages than ever before.

...Then came COVID.

Studies today show there is another pandemic- further alarming increases to what was an already devastating mental health reality for our children- in all categories surveyed. For example:

  • Rates of suicidal ideation in adolescents rose from 17% in 2017 to 37% during the pandemic- 44% in some other jurisdictions.
"THIS is the next pandemic, and the needs aren't going to end when this COVID-19 pandemic ends."
- Joanne Lowe, VP of Mental Health and Addictions, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

The numbers tell a very scary tale of desperation and need within our most vulnerable populations - and they all get worse for marginalised and under-served communities.

...Now imagine a child losing a mother in this context.

This is why we acted. Why we worked to create The Grief Centre with supporters and partners.

This is why we need your support.
We need to begin helping our children and families now.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission Statement

To provide optimal grief support, a safe space, programs and resources to children, youth and families; leadership in the integration of research, care and education to build strength, resilience and hope in our community and beyond.

Vision Statement

That all grieving children and their families have access to counselling, programming and all available resources regardless of their economic means.
Resilience. Hope. Healthier World.

Our Values

Accessibility — Inclusiveness — Evidence-Based — Compassion — Responsive — Innovation — Excellence

The Grief Centre's Advisory Committee

Adam Rapoport, MD, FRCPC, MHSc

Dr. Rapoport is an internationally recognized, honoured, and awarded leading expert in paediatric and palliative care. He is currently the Medical Director, Paediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) at The Hospital for Sick Children. He is also the Medical Director of Emily's House Children's Hospice and Associate Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rapoport is a general pediatrician with a Masters in bioethics. In 2009, Adam joined the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital as their pediatric consultant. In July 2011 he became the first Medical Director of the Paediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), the palliative care service at SickKids. PACT provides both inpatient and outpatient palliative care to children with life-threatening illnesses, and their families, including grief and bereavement support. In 2013 Adam became Medical Director at Toronto's first pediatric residential hospice – Emily's House. Adam's academic work focuses on the intersection of his 3 primary interests: pediatrics, palliative care and ethics.

Colleen Mousseau, M.Ed., R.P.

Colleen is a Registered Psychotherapist with a Masters in Counselling Psychology, is the co-owner and Clinical Director of Andrea Warnick Consulting.

Over the past 20 years Colleen has worked in agencies such as Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre and Woodview Children's Mental Health and Autism Services. Colleen has extensive experience helping people of all ages and abilities face challenges related to serious illness, grief and bereavement. She also possesses the rare expertise of helping those with Autism Spectrum Disorder navigate grief. She is trained in a variety of modalities including cognitive behavioural therapy, art therapy, play therapy and EMDR.

Oren Baum

Oren is the Managing Partner at UpOnline, a digital marketing agency specializing in healthcare, SMB, and non-profit services. For over two decades Oren has helped charities raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through UpOnline services and donates much of his time and services to clients and causes in the industry.

Oren has run or assisted with numerous fundraising initiatives for the Dr. Jay Charitable Foundation, Ontario Camping Association, Bnai Brith / Camp Northland, Maccabiah Games, and the Volunteer Readers Programme, to name a few.

A problem solver at heart, Oren started applying those skills professionally while studying at the University of Toronto for Software Engineering and then founding startups in the areas of mobile software development, SaaS platforms, and IT Management. Those experiences along with skills and clients picked up along the way led to launching UpOnline in 2002 originally as a way to provide online marketing services to existing customers. In 2017, Oren opened a digital start up space called The Annex Exchange to provide space and an ideal environment for growth and mentorship in Toronto.

Ellen Schwartz

Ellen Schwartz is an elementary teacher, community leader, author, and public speaker. As founder of Project Give Back she links her decades of teaching together with her personal passion for charitable causes. She co-founded Jacob's Ladder, Canadian Foundation for the Control of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Jacob's Ladder raised millions of dollars towards research, education, awareness and therapy into neurodegenerative illnesses.

Ellen has published three books. 'Lessons from Jacob: A Disabled Son Teaches His Mother About Courage, Hope and the Joy of Living Life to the Fullest', 'Without One Word Spoken', and 'The Puddle Jumper'. 'Without One Word Spoken' rated a National Best Seller by the Globe and Mail. Her newly released children's book 'The Puddle Jumper,' was written together with her daughter Beverly.

Ellen has been honored by the Israel Cancer Research Fund, Ve'ahavta, Aish Toronto, Sick Kids Hospital and Brilliant Minded Women. She was awarded a Queen's Jubilee medal, the Meritorious Service Decoration by the Governor General of Canada, and a Canada 150 Exemplary Canadian medal.

Ellen lives in Toronto with her husband Jeff and children, Beverly 24, Ben 21 and Jacob who is forever 21.

John Ferracuti

John is a seasoned franchise executive with over 30 years of experience in launching and operating successful franchises across North America. As the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer at Bin There Dump That, he lead the growth and operations of the greatest "residential friendly" dumpster company on earth, with over 245 franchise territories in Canada and the US.

John has a unique perspective on small and medium sized businesses in the franchise industry, having been an owner/operator of several small businesses, an award-winning franchisee and a fast-growing franchisor. He has developed and coached creative and effective sales strategies at the local and national levels, and he thrives in leading a fantastic team of 18 great teammates on the Super Support Team, whose goal is to support and empower the company's franchise operators to be the best they can be. He is also a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), a credential that demonstrates his commitment and expertise in franchising.

John has a lifelong love of team sports and he now looks forward to working on The Grief Centre team to make it as wonderful as it can be for all the kids and families in need.

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