This is not a site for personal disclosure of mental health distress, suicidal thoughts or behaviours. If you are in crisis, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department for assistance.

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.
  • 2019

    Be There

    After 18 months of consultation with young people, launches Be There, an online resource that gives everyone the education and skills they need to support the people in their lives through a mental health struggle. This resource is developed to address the huge gap in mental health education that’s young leaders had continually raised as a barrier to positive mental health. Be There is visited by over half a million people in the first year. (

    Youth Voice Report publishes its second Youth Voice Report, providing five evidence-based recommendations for adult allies on how to support and promote youth mental health across Canada. The Youth Voice Report is published in a spirit of collaboration, with the understanding that youth leaders cannot end the youth mental health crisis without the engagement and support of decision makers. (

    Campus Assessment Tool pilots the Campus Assessment Tool (CAT), a five-part, youth-led participatory research tool designed to support the advocacy work of student-run Jack Chapters, on ten post-secondary Chapters across Canada. The CAT guides young people through a process of understanding how their campus communities serve, protect, and promote youth mental health, and gives us an accurate picture of the youth mental health landscape. (

    The Federal Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, gives the keynote address at the national Jack Summit. Speaking about her experience with mental illness, Minister Talylor engages with delegates from across the country to address the youth mental health crisis.


    The 10th anniversary Jack Ride surpasses its $1 million dollar fundraising target, reaching a record-setting $1.3 million dollars for youth mental health. With over 1000 incredible riders and 7000 donors, this is a testament to the power of the Jack Ride community. meets with other leaders in youth mental health in Brisbane, Australia for the 5th International Association for Youth Mental Health. presents findings from the Youth Voice Report, collaborates with other leaders in the space, and collects learnings from international partners on how to best promote youth mental health throughout the world.

  • 2020

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, reinvented its essential mental health programs to respond to the crisis. This goal of this transition was to ensure that existing gaps in the mental health system would continue to be addressed, while also expanding programs to respond to the spike in mental health distress experienced by young people during COVID-19. 

    Working with Kids Help Phone and School Mental Health Ontario, developed The Hub, a collection of digital resources for young people to use to look after their own mental health and the mental health of others.

    The Jack Talk, a powerhouse program that ignites mental health conversations in communities across the country, is adapted to a virtual format to ensure that these crucial conversations keep happening. In collaboration with educators and experts, the Talk is designed to be interactive, accommodating, and safe for the virtual setting.


    Jack Ride 2020 goes completely virtual, with incredible Jack Riders all over the world gearing up and clipping in to support youth mental health. Riders chose to ride from home or blazed new trails for youth mental health, ultimately raising an incredible $1,301,227 for young people’s mental health at a time when it is most needed.

    The first ever virtual Jack Summit kicks off during mental health week. Jack Summit brought together delegates from communities all over the country to collaborate on a regionally-specific recommendation to the federal minister of inclusion and diversity and youth, build relationships with other young leaders, and build skills to advocate for change in a virtual setting. 

    Bardish Chagger, the federal minister of inclusion and diversity and youth, collaborates with delegates at Jack Summit to find solutions to the youth mental health crisis. Over the course of Summit week, delegates worked together to identify regionally-specific gaps in the youth mental health system and then presented recommendations to Minister Chagger on how the government can work to better support and promote youth mental health. 

    In January, Be There blows by its goal to reach 180,000 people with essential mental health content. Be There was designed to give people the education and skill they need to support someone through a mental health struggle. The number of visitors, along with the number of return visitors and the site’s retention rate, show that this resource is achieving its goal and making a difference in people’s lives.