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Finding hope when you have been profoundly impacted by the disease of mental illness might seem impossible, however the family of Kaitlyn Roth are determined.

Just as determined as Kaitlyn was to live a life of joy. She sought joy through her involvement in student council, choirs, band, sports, leadership conferences, and mission work with her church.

Kaitlyn was a ‘go-getter. She got involved in so many activities and had such a kind spirit. Always finding time to write notes or give gifts to friends and family. She was the best at getting everyone involved and organized many tournaments in the Roth household!

When struggles with her mental health meant that joy became hard to grasp, Kaitlyn and her family reached out for support. Long waitlists, a crisis-model of care, and an inability to match Kaitlyn’s needs with available programs and services meant she fell through the cracks.

On April 28, 2022, Kaitlyn, a third year University of Waterloo student who had dreams of working with children with special needs, died due to the disease of mental illness.

The Roths made a decision to focus on helping others right from the day of her death. They were so disappointed with the adult mental health system, that they decided to use their voice from their difficult lived experience to bring hope to others and hopefully use their story to be a vehicle for positive change. Their mantra is ‘let's make it better and not be bitter’. There are many Kaitlyns out there.


The mental health system will never change unless mental illness is seen as a disease like diabetes and treated just the way physical illnesses are. It is a brain disease, simply put. No one wants to suffer like this. It is so important to keep these conversations going to reduce the stigma and continue to advocate for better and evidenced-based mental health services for all.

Mike and Fiona Roth take advocating and improving the system for your loved ones seriously. Since Kaitlyn’s passing, they have met personally with the Canadian Minister of Mental Health twice. Their recommendations for an improved mental health system across Canada are now before the Ottawa Senate.


They also have met personally with the Ontario Minister of Mental Health twice to advocate for improved services for Ontarians. They have met with representatives from Ontario Health for South West Ontario. They sit on various committees to continue to share their tragic story in hopes of creating positive change that inspires hope and compassion.

They are currently sitting on the Alternative Designation Clinic Committee for Waterloo Region - a new model of care treating people experiencing a mental health crisis in a community clinic instead of Emergency department. They are on the F.A.C.E. committee, (Families for Awareness and Change), which is a committee of family members who advocate for positive change for Grand River Hospital mental health services. They also have attended several meetings with Grand River Hospital in regard to improving their mental health services.

They have been asked to provide training to the Grand River Hospital staff during their Mental Health Skills day.

They are also part of a future planning committee for the new hospital in Waterloo Region which is looking at the 10-30 year strategic plan for mental health services in this committee.

They have also met with M.P.P. Catherine Fife and M.P Bardish Chagger who have helped support them to advocate for improved mental health services in Ontario and Canada.

To honour Kaitlyn’s legacy and the many “Kaitlyns” out there, Mike and Fiona have decided to create a foundation to help “fill in the gaps” in people’s mental health journeys, working alongside an experienced team who are committed to improving mental health services for all. The Roth family found that there were many gaps along Kaitlyn’s journey and it became so easy to fall through the cracks of the system without any follow through or continuity of care. The foundation seeks to raise funds for registered charities in the community that demonstrate a commitment to evidenced-based, wraparound approaches to mental health care so the other “Kaitlyns” won’t fall through the cracks. We are going to work together to create a mental health system that instills hope and compassion for all.

Kaitlyn's Story

Kaitlyn died to the disease of mental illness on April 28, 2022. View Obituary

We are motivated to create a community and country filled with hope and compassion for anyone struggling with the disease of mental illness.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Inspiring hope and compassion in children and adults struggling with their mental health

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