Bonding over Mental Health


Chris Harden may be best known for his role at Harden, but the partner and Vice-President of Development is also deeply involved in Let’s Bond, a non-profit organization based in Montreal that raises money and awareness for mental health issues.

As president of Let’s Bond’s executive committee for the past four years, Chris leads the organization’s efforts to raise funds for two organizations on the front lines helping those who struggle with mental illness, the Fondation Jeunes en tête and their “Partners for Life” outreach program; as well as the Douglas Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Douglas Institute in Verdun.

Let’s Bond hosts two important fundraisers annually, the fall Urban Ball, a black-tie affair that attracts young professionals and business leaders in the Greater Montreal area, and In Style with Holt, a springtime fashion event held at Holt Renfrew.

Following this year’s Urban Ball, Chris announced that Let’s Bond has now donated $1 million dollars to Fondation Jeunes en tête and Douglas Foundation since 2011.

“Everyone knows someone affected by mental illness,” says Chris. “Whether it’s a family member friend, co-worker or employee, someone we know is struggling to live with some form of mental illness. We need to talk about it, we need to destigmatize it and we need to make help available more readily. I and the entire team at Let’s Bond are committed to doing everything we can to raise funds for organizations that are on the ground floor delivering services to those who need it most.”

“We’re also committed to developing a new generation of philanthropists who see charitable giving as an important part of their lives. Our target audience is young, professional, style-conscious and big-hearted. These are exactly the type of people who will help change the way our society views and talks about mental illness. Raising $1 million dollars in seven years is extraordinary. I cannot wait to see what we can do next.”

100% of the money Let’s Bond collects in donations and sponsorships goes directly to Fondation Jeunes en tête and the Douglas Foundation.

Fondation Jeunes en tête uses the funds to finance Partners for Life, an outreach program with two goals:

  • To teach young people aged 14 and older, parents and school staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression
  • To help them refer someone in distress to the appropriate resources
  • When left untreated, teen depression often leads to school dropouts and even suicide. Partners for Life aims to directly address teen depression in its early stages. Since its establishment in 1998, the program has reached over 1,000,000 teens across Quebec.

The Douglas Foundation uses the funds to support the development of the Douglas Institute: patient care and their environment, research in neuroscience and mental illness, as well as for training and education