Hats On For Awareness

Here at Unicorn Marketing Co., we have the privilege of working with some incredible creatives, entrepreneurs, and overall wonderful people! We want to highlight creatives and their amazing businesses. Meet the non-profit, Hats On For Awareness!

A person holding up a phone that is showing the Hats On For Awareness Instagram profile

Where It All Began

Hats On For Awareness is a Toronto based charity that raises funds to further the reach of mental health programs which enhance the lives of those living with and affected by mental illness and addictions.

Hats On For Awareness believes that mental health is a vital component of overall wellness, and it needs to be a priority in our personal, business, and community lives. They aim to raise awareness regarding these illnesses, consistently battle against the stigma they hold, and fund the research and programs to truly achieve Mental Wellness For All.

A girl holding a phone that is looking at a Hats On For Awareness post on Instagram

A Positive Impact

Hats On For Awareness raises funds to invest in organizations that are breaking barriers to ensure local mental health and wellness programs can be offered to more individuals. Simply put, everyone needs access to mental health care.

Hats On looks for donors and contributors who have the ability to contribute financially in order to reach their goals. Driven by the opportunity to enhance the work of their beneficiaries, including Jack.org, Humber River Health, Carita’s School of Life and others, Hats On brings people together to support these important and impactful organizations.

They have proudly raised over $1.3 million to further the awareness and support of mental health programs.

Person holding a phone with an Instagram photo from Hats On For Awareness

The Past and The Future of Mental Health

Hats On For Awareness came to be out of a necessity to bring light to hard topics around mental health. At the time they started their journey, mental health was not a commonplace term and it was not a widely discussed issue. There was more misunderstanding about what mental health fully encompasses, and the term ‘mental wellness’ wasn’t even a thought. It was much harder for people to talk openly about how they were feeling due to the stigma associated with this. They started Hats On For Awareness knowing that there was a long road ahead to change this perspective. 

How Has It Changed Since?

Nowadays, people are talking openly about mental health and finding ways to apply mental wellness to all aspects of their lives. There are many notable organizations, programs, and services that have stepped up to join our mission and vision. There are more mental health service providers, more walk-in counselling options, and more open crisis lines available for anyone who needs to talk. Looking around at the people in the community who are sharing their struggles with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alike, the stigma around those feelings is starting to shift. 

There’s still a lot of work to do. At Hats On, they know that access to mental health programs and services is one of the biggest barriers for those needing help.

Person holding a phone with an Instagram photo from Hats On For Awareness

The Incredible Front Line Resources that Hats On For Awareness Supports

Hats On For Awareness supports many incredible front line resources that are breaking down barriers and making huge strides in helping people with their mental health.


Since 2013, Hats On has supported Jack.org, a national charity that trains and empowers young leaders to revolutionize mental health. This year, over 1,200 student advocates will come together at the National Jack Summit and 18 Regional Jack Summits to share ideas and strategies for action in their communities. Hats On has donated more than $125,000 to provide education and advocacy training at Jack Summit and branded hats to student delegates across Canada, raising awareness about mental wellness for all.

Humber River Health

Hats On has pledged $150,000 to Humber River Health and their Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program to enhance access to services for adolescent patients and to ensure they receive the care and education they need to manage their illness and recover from trauma. Humber River Health’s holistic approach to mental health is integral to the vision of mental wellness for all.

Carita’s School of Life

Caritas is the latest donor that Hats On has partnered with. Caritas School of Life applies its holistic treatment approach across a collaborative wellness network of Canada’s leading provincial and local organizations. Established in 1985, Caritas School of Life is Canada’s second oldest Therapeutic Community which today includes the only 24-month Men’s Bed-Based Program in North America; and an In-Patient Men’s Detox Centre. It also operates three Outpatient programs, Addiction Services for Women, and Men & Women’s Withdrawal Management; as well as a Family Support Group.

A person sitting with their laptop looking at a Pass The Hat email from Hats On For Awareness

Pass The Hat For Mental Health

Pass The Hat for Mental Health is a social media campaign intended to raise awareness and funds for frontline resources so that more of our youth have somewhere to turn in a crisis. The campaign is being held during World Mental Health Week from May 6th-10th. It’ll be a week of community uniting to offer solidarity, engaging in heartfelt conversations and story sharing, and giving what we can to increase mental health care access.

Passing the Hat” is inspired by the idea of a community standing together, taking turns wearing the hat to tell our stories and then urging others to do the same. Wearing the hat is a symbol of protecting your head and your mind, and it’s something simple that we can each do to lend our voice to help break barriers. Holding the hat out to someone else is also a symbol of directly asking for financial support.

Join Hats On from May 6th-10th to Pass The Hat. Show youth in crisis that no one should be left behind! In honour of the struggles you or a loved one has faced, please engage by adding to the conversation, then Pass The Hat to spread the message.

Your friends, family, and community will benefit from knowing that you’re championing mental health care and that you’re a safe space where they can be heard without judgment. ⁠

In 2023, the Pass The Hat campaign raised $11,000 for mental health. Join in this year and learn more about the 2024 campaign and how to participate.


Hats On For Awareness hosts a signature fundraising gala, the Hatsquerade, to create real change in the lives of those struggling with mental health. 

What sets this gala apart from other fundraising events in its community? Hats On For Awareness committee volunteers and passionate leaders gather incredible spokespeople from across the Greater Toronto Area who continue to build relationships with many different corporations, and distinguished new and returning guests.

Additionally, the Hatsquerade has a reputation of being an event to look forward to each year. As one of the Greater Toronto Area’s not-to-miss events, this gala is known to be an elaborate party scene for all ages, from guests in their early twenties and through to retirement. The event always evokes a fulfilling, happy feeling for its guests, allowing more than 700 people to partake in an outgoing, fun, colourful celebration. Rather than focusing on multiple speakers at this prestigious event, the run of show focuses on a decadent meal, delicious drinks, and themed, coordinated entertainment to last all night long. Past guests have said this event has a “crazy energy” and is a “massive party”. It is easy to feel like you are in a room surrounded by a tight network of friends and family, even if you are a new guest to this annual celebration.

The 2023 Hatsquerade Gala raised over $600,000! Help make a positive impact, and join the 2024 Hatsquerade on October 18th at the Universal Events Centre in Vaughan, Ontario.

Connect With Hats On For Awareness

Website: www.hatsonforawareness.com

Instagram: @hatsonforawareness

LinkedIn: Hats On For Awareness

Facebook: Hats On For Awareness

X: @hatson4aware

YouTube: Hats On For Awareness

Thanks for Reading!

Thank you to the Hats On Awareness team for their incredible work breaking down barriers and letting us share their story!

Check out our Magic Hour Podcast where our Founder asks imaginative, light-hearted questions to her incredibly talented guests from here, there, and everywhere! Listen to Season 2 of Magic Hour which is out now!

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Marketing Blog | Unicorn Marketing Co.