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Our History

  • 2010
    Jack Windeler died by suicide at 18 years old in his first year at Queens University. For whatever reasons, Jack was unable to reach out for the help he needed.

    Wanting to ensure that every young person struggling is identified and gets the help they need, Jack's parents Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington started a memorial fund at Kids Help Phone. Out of this fund grew The Jack Project, an initiative aimed at doing its part to improve youth mental health across Canada.

    That same year, Eric and Sandra, with the support of epic cyclist Peter Oyler and dear friends Gillian Evans and David Toyne held the first ever Jack Ride with 70 friends, families, and volunteers getting on their bikes and starting conversations around mental health. Today, Jack Ride is Canada's largest ride for youth mental health. 
  • 2011
    The Jack Project hired 2 full-time staff and conducted pilot outreach including over 100 workshops, presentations to youth, parent and educator audiences, and fully evaluated the effort. The Jack Project determined that peer-to-peer contact-based education would be the most effective way to reach young people and focus on youth engagement, empowerment, and education.

    In addition, funds raised by The Jack Project were used as seed funding to launch Kids Help Phone's mobile app chat service, which included a new resource for locating mental health resources across Canada.  
  • 2012
    The Jack Project transitioned its location to Queen’s University in order to work more directly with young leaders to develop youth-inspired, youth-led initiatives focused on decreasing stigma and improving mental wellbeing at schools/campuses across Canada.
  • 2013
    The Jack Project rebrands as and receives charitable status, becoming a fully independent registered charity.

    The organization funds and facilitates Unleash the Noise, Canada’s first ever student-led mental health innovation summit. 

  • 2014 launches the Jack Talks program, training 12 youth speakers to give peer-to-peer mental health presentations. also launches the Jack Chapters program, piloting 28 chapters across Canada. 
  • 2015 staff and young leaders are invited to speak as the 'voice of youth' at the first-ever joint World Bank x World Health Organization Summit 'Out of the Shadows' focused on making youth mental health a global development priority. 

    The Jack Talks training moves online. Programs staff train speakers nationwide through video modules, a digital manual, and Skype coaching. launches the first iteration of the Regional Jack Summit program, supporting local summits across Canada.
  • 2016 young leaders are chosen to meet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their Canadian tour to discuss youth mental health. 

    The first youth Network Representative council plans Jack Summit 2017. 

    The new Jack Chapter training balances structure and flexibility in teaching youth leaders about mental health and advocacy. 
  • 2017
    At the 5th National Jack Summit, #JackSummit trended #1 in Canada on Twitter.

    Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington receive the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) from the office of the Governor General for their tireless efforts to support young leaders and revolutionize mental health. 

    Two charitable organizations (Healthy Minds Canada and Partners for Mental Health) make the decision to merge their resources and funds into Healthy Minds Canada Legacy Fund is established at to fund's Community Engagement Work. Partners for Mental Health’s online parent resource "Right By You" is rebranded to
  • 2018
    The Prime Minister's Office announces a $50,000 gift to to celebrate the birth of the new royal baby, Prince Louis.

    Prince Willliam, Duke of Cambridge, sends a video message to Jack Summit 2018 delegates.

    A staff of 24 supports 2,500 young leaders working to dismantle barriers to positive mental health in every province and territory of Canada. begins to focus on advocacy aimed at systems change, ensuring Canada's policymakers prioritize youth mental health.