The Royal Canadian Mint has struck a new fundraising medal focusing on Canadians’ mental health with all net proceeds from its sale going directly to Kids Help Phone, a charitable organization launched in 1989 to provide youth counselling.
The two-sided mental health medal, struck in nickel-plated steel, went on sale for $9.95 (with free shipping) on Nov. 23.
“When Canadians embraced our recognition medal as a thank you to our pandemic heroes in 2020, it showed us how much they appreciated having a way to give back to their community at the height of the pandemic,” said Mintmaster Marie Lemay, the Mint’s president and CEO for nearly three years. “This encouraged Mint employees to develop and produce a new medal, which can now be given or worn as a way to spark important conversations on mental health.”
Meant to spark dialogue, the new medal can be worn or given to someone else to show your willingness to talk about mental health.
The donations from the medal’s sale will go towards Kids Help Phone’s youth-focused mental health programs.
“Through this deeply thought out symbol of support, we will continue to drive awareness towards important mental health conversations and actions,” said Kids Help Phone President and CEO Katherine Hay. “Both youth and adults have been deeply impacted by the unprecedented challenges faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with their mental health. By rallying as a staff team and inspiring a nation, the Mint’s generous contributions from this medal will not only help open up the dialogue about mental health but also help Kids Help Phone continue to break down barriers and provide e-mental health solutions for youth and adults across Canada while driving transformational change in e-mental health solutions.”
MENTAL HEALTH MEDAL DESIGN
Designed by the Mint’s in-house artists, the 2022-dated mental health medal holds various meanings.
One side uses negative and positive space to present two overlapping silhouettes. The person on the left is opening up about their struggles while the one on the right is actively listening. The triangles above their heads indicate their state of well-being: the unorganized triangles represent fragmented thoughts or a state of distress while the organized pattern suggests a healthier state of mind (and the missing triangles, according to the Mint, “are a reminder that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ mental health”).
The medal’s other side features a stylized maple leaf. This quintessentially Canadian symbol represents the country’s strong national spirit and willingness to help one other through difficult times like the pandemic. This concept is reinforced by the positioning of the words “santé mentale / mental health,” which emulate the veins of the maple leaf as a reminder about mental health’s critical role in overall well-being.
Like last year’s recognition medal, each mental health medal comes with a magnet attachment so it can be worn on either side. It’s packaged with the magnet in a gift card folder enclosed in a clear plastic pouch.
To maximize its fundraising potential, the Mint also concentrated its available resources to make the medal – from spare materials to employees volunteering to package it.
“When it comes to dealing with mental health issues, the societal evolution from ‘just shake it off’ and ‘get over it’ to ‘it’s okay to not be okay’ has been very heartening to witness,” said Minka Singh, the Mint’s product management co-ordinator and mental health ambassador. “Asking for help is no longer seen as a weakness. This is crucial because healing from the collective trauma that we have gone through during this pandemic will necessitate significant recovery. As the founder of the Mint’s Mental Health Working Group, I feel this medal embodies the sentiments that we’re all in this together, that help is there when we need it, and that we’re going to get each other through this.”