Initiative Campaign

Eric Windeler

The Jack Project / jack.org

The Jack Project was founded in 2010 by Eric Windeler (Com’82) and his wife Sandra Hanington after their son tragically died by suicide. Jack was in first year at Queen’s. Now known as jack.org, the project encourages youth to engage, raise awareness and reduce the stigma around the vital topic of mental health.

In the fall of 2012, Principal Daniel Woolf signed an agreement to bring The Jack Project to Queen's to engage with student leaders and the administration to create programs that will be student inspired and aimed at young people to help them talk openly about mental health.

In March 2013, The Jack Project sponsored the first-ever student summit on youth mental health, Unleash the Noise. Drawing students from more than eighty-five schools across Canada, the conference was entirely student-inspired and led. Eleven of the twelve key organizers were students from Queen’s.

Effective July 2013, The Jack Project became an independent national charity that will develop and lead national initiatives that actively engage youth to carry out localized, community-based mental health projects. The relationship established between jack.org and Queen’s will be a model for other schools to follow.

Annually, project organizes The Jack Ride, which raises money to support the project’s initiatives. The 2013 ride took place on May 24 near Toronto.

Mr Windeler was named the recipient of the 2013 Champion of Mental Health Award in the “community individual” category by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).