Sydney’s story

Your gift means more mental health supports for young people so they can gain coping skills and add resilience into their lives.

Young people like Sydney, who was got help with social anxiety and depression.

In high school Sydney had difficulty talking to people, and was getting poor grades. She spent most of her time after school sleeping, felt deeply isolated, and drank alcohol to ease her pain.

Sydney gained skills and strength to grow her mental wellness with help from a youth program at Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba (MDAM), a United Way agency partner.

“It gave me insight into, you know, things aren’t as bad as they seem, and not all people are scary and awful.”

New doors opened in Sydney’s life as she gained insight and power over her anxieties.

“I can make new friends, I can have fun…if I were to sign up for something it wouldn’t be constant terror.”

Today Sydney, 18, volunteers with the same MDAM program that helped her, and would like a career where she can work with children that need mental health supports.

“I’m doing a lot better. I have all these tools to help me now, so it’s just much easier to get by.”

The generosity of Winnipeggers like you make successes like Sydney’s possible.

Thank you.


Teens with mood disorders rock it this summer.

Summer—the time “everyone” is “supposed to be” having fun—can be an isolating time for teens with mood disorders, without the social presence of friends at school.

It can help to have something to do, especially something cool and challenging. Meeting new people with similar interests can make summer into an amazing experience.

If you’re a teen with a mood disorder—or know one—check out Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba‘s summer rock camp Let It Out!

United Way is providing time-limited funding for this project because we believe helping kids be all they can be and making sure everyone feels supported in their wellbeing makes Winnipeg a stronger community.

Let’s talk: mood and anxiety disorders in Winnipeg

One in four Winnipeggers has a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder, a new Peg report reveals.

The news comes a day before Olympian Clara Hughes is back in Winnipeg to raise awareness around mental health issues as part of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day.

It also follows a recent move by United Way’s community investment committee to add the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba to the essential network of programs and services we support in Winnipeg, building on our commitment to healthy people and strong communities.

Percent of people with mood and anxiety disorders in Winnipeg, by neighbourhood.

An indicator of mental health, mood and anxiety disorders impact many aspects of wellbeing:

  • Employment: Unemployment among people with serious mental illnesses ranges from 70% to 90%
  • The economy: Mental illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $51 billion every year, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
  • Safety: People with mental illness are more than twice as likely to be victims of crime.
  • Physical health: People with serious mental health conditions are at high risk of chronic physical conditions and vice versa.

Brad’s story: Art and Mental Health

Developed through a partnership between United Way of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Peg is a community indicators system and innovative website that makes it possible to measure our city’s progress and compare data from different neighbourhoods.

Read the full report here and visit the Peg website for more information.