In 2008, Canada Post set out to eliminate the misconceptions associated with mental illness, establishing the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health. Thanks to the generous support of employees, customers and suppliers, Canada Post has raised more than $2.5 million for the Foundation and hopes to raise another $2 million by the end of this year. In September 2009, the Foundation dispersed its inaugural grants, ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 - for a total of more than $1 million - to 19 community-based non-profit organizations. An additional $1.5 million in grants will be awarded this fall.
This September, Canada Post issued a new permanent domestic rate semi-postal stamp, again with a 10-cent surcharge.
The stamp features a mental health patient on the path towards recovery. According to Louis Gagnon of the Montreal-based design firm Paprika, "The lines that flow through the stamp cross over one another to represent the plight of a troubled mind moving toward a sense of peace as they rise up the mountain." A tree, a universal symbol of growth, healing and renewal, sprouts at the mountain's summit.
According to Anthony Wilson-Smith, Vice-President of Communications with responsibility for Canada Post's Cause of Choice, "Almost $600,000 has been raised for the Foundation through stamp sales. Everyone who has ever purchased the stamps should be very proud."