Jack Project

A project born out of a family’s grief, the Jack Project is raising awareness about mental health. Jack Windeler took his life at the age of 18 while studying at Queens University in Kingston, ON. His family, lead by his father Eric has established a foundation to highlight the importance of awareness about mental health and the need to increase supports for young people between the ages of 15-24. Working in partnership with the Kids Help Line the Jack Project has put together a pilot program with a number of Ontario schools.

With the support of many departments in Student Affairs, students at the University of Guelph have organized a number of significant programs to promote mental health awareness on campus. Plans for the one-day event include a panel discussion, mental health training sessions, self-care events, and a mental health resource fair.

One such event planned is a t-shirt campaign called One-in-Five. One in five refers to the fact that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health challenge in their lifetime.

The days’ events will end with an important panel discussion on mental health awareness with mental health professionals and guest speaker Eric Windeler, the founder of the Jack Project.


Mental-ill health is a special challenge for young people. Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders often emerge in late adolescence and young adulthood. Major life changes, such as the transition from high school to a post-secondary institution, can be overwhelmingly stressful, especially when few supports exist to help young people manage through this change.

Jack Windeler was finishing his first year at Queen’s University when he took his own life at the age of 18. His family had no idea he was struggling. His father Eric started the Jack Project to try to reach out to young adults and help them before it’s too late.

Of those who are struggling, only a fraction asks for or receives professional help. This is particularly true of young people aged 15-24. This group has higher than average rates of mental ill-health, and less access to formal support than other age groups.

Jack’s father, Eric will be speaking at Rozanski Hall @ 5:30.




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