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Matthew Yip

$55,000.00 (raised so far)

About Matthew Yip

Matthew Yip was one of the top students in the UBC-O Faculty of Engineering class, graduating in 2015. He was a man who strived for excellence in every aspect of his life. Whether it be in the many sports he competed in, his education or his work, Matt gave it his all.

He had an insatiable sense of adventure and lived life to the fullest. In his short years he became certified as an Advanced Scuba Diver, dove the Great Barrier Reef, jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, and drove a dog sled on the Alaskan tundra. Even larger than his love of adventure was Matt’s love for those close to him. While Matt made many people feel liked, he made a chosen few feel deeply loved. Matt truly lived for his friends and family, always putting their happiness before his own.

Matt struggled with depression and died by suicide at the age of 23. He received all available support—from family doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, medication and the undying love and support from his family, fiancée and friends—but he could not be saved. His memory lives on through his parents, Chuck and Cindy Yip, his sister, Ashley Yip, his fiancée, Kaylin Westbrook, and through the lives of many others who he touched.

The impact of your support

In Matt’s memory, his family have established the Matthew Yip Memorial Fund at UBC Okanagan.

Your gift will pay tribute to Matt’s life, by supporting UBC students and initiatives that create sustainable, meaningful impacts for people living with depression or anxiety.

Recipient – Renée Asselin

Renee is currently working full-time for Crisis Services Canada as a Bilingual Supervisor supporter responders on the Talk Suicide Canada Helpline. As a past responder, crisis work has a special place in my heart. It is deeply meaningful to facilitate access to a safer place for those facing difficult situations.

“It has truly been an honour to receive the Matthew Yip Award, and I am grateful to the Yip family and all those involved. This award has made an indelible impact on me, validating my work both as a placement student with newcomers to Canada and in my current role. In honour of Matthew and those experiencing mental health crises, I strive every day to create equitable and accessible mental health resources for community members. The Yip family will forever be in my thoughts, and I am grateful for the opportunities this award continues to inspire.”
– Renée Asselin

Recipient – Ali Caldwell

“I am currently working for ARC Programs as a School Based Mental Health Clinician, supporting high school students experiencing mental health challenges. It is an honour to have received the Matthew Yip Memorial Award, and it supported me greatly in completing my education. Although at a different time, I grew up in the same community as Matthew and attended the same schools. I now work at Kelowna Secondary School, where we both graduated, and I am so humbled and thankful to be able to work in the community we grew up in. I hope to continue to support youth and advocate for increased accessibility to services. My sincerest thanks to the Yip family and everyone else who has contributed to this award.”
– Ali Caldwell

Ali Caldwell

Recipient – Jenna Pybus, BCYC, MSW

Jenna is currently working with CMHA Kelowna as a Mental Health and Substance Use Specialist supporting youth, young adults, and older adults in recovery.

“Receiving the Matthew Yip Award has been particularly close to my heart as I am also a KSS High School Graduate who has returned to Kelowna to work in my home community. I have been working with youth and young adults impacted by mental health challenges and substance use for a number of years in healthcare and in non-profit and I hope to continue to strive for ongoing development in these areas and have a positive impact on changing the narrative around mental health and advocating for accessible support.”
– Jenna Pybus

Recipient – Sara Kolomejac

“Having been nominated for this award I am thankful and humbled. My dream is to become a child and youth mental health clinician and advocate. The financial support this award has given me helps move me along this journey. Thank you to those who believe in me. Thank you to the amazing youth I continue to work and support.”
– Sara Kolomejac

Recipient – Jessica Hanson BA’11 BEd ’14 MSW ‘19

Masters of Social Work graduate Jessica Hanson was the second recipient of the Matthew Yip Memorial Award for Outstanding Field Training in Social Work in 2019. Today Jessica works full time at the Heartwood Centre for women, a BC Mental Health & Substance Use Service supporting women and transgendered women who receive recovery from substance use.

“Being the recipient of the Matthew Yip award was a humbling experience. It highlights the impact that mental illness has on the individual, on families and on communities. My passion for supporting individuals with mental illness was solidified during my MSW and I am grateful to be able to engage in this work every day.”
– Jessica Hanson

Inaugural Recipient – Zarka Stojanovic

Zarka Stojanovic, MSW ‘18 is the inaugural recipient of the Matthew Yip Memorial Award for Outstanding Field Training in Social Work. This award is bestowed to an outstanding graduate students in the Masters of Social Work program who has achieved excellence in a field placement with a focus on mental-health issues.

“I am grateful for the financial support this award has provided my education, but even more grateful that it validated my life-long commitment to helping people who struggle with mental health.”
– Zarka Stojanovic

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Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • Matthew, we really did not get to know you as you grew up to be the man you became. For that we feel very poorly and sad. I hope you are at peace and that one day this disease will also be put to rest. Everyone loves you, misses you and you will always be remembered by that awesome smile. Debbie, Wayne, Jodie, Maury, Bobby, Chelsea, Shayne, Martyna, Brayden, Mikhala and Hayden.

    Debra A Cameron-MacKinnon, Aunt
  • I couldn't imagine a life without you but now I face my worst nightmare. Since the day you were born, I was there to protect you, support you, fight with you, play with you and love you endlessly. I will always be there for you. I miss you so much and will cherish all the fun times we had, growing up together and maturing to become the people we are today (i.e. the kind of people who would eat ice cream twice in one day). I'm thankful we made so many great memories around the world. I love you so much, little brother.

    Ashley Yip, Sister
  • We had the pleasure of watching you grow up from the day you were born. You were full of energy and lived life to the fullest. We will miss your smiling face and will cherish all the memories we had from the birthday parties, numerous family visits and Mexico. We will love you with all our hearts, forever. May, Mitchell and Kristina <3

    May Wright, family friend
  • Chuck, Cindy, and Ashley - we were all so very sorry to hear the news of Matt's passing and his struggles. Please know that you are in our thoughts during this very difficult time. We hope that donating in his name may bring help to others suffering. Dr. Jillian Belbin, Dr. Lincoln Loo, and our whole team at Rutland Dental Centre

    Dr. Jillian Belbin and Dr. Lincoln Loo, Dentists
  • To us we had the "perfect" family but depression does not discriminate and we lost Matthew to suicide on January 4, 2017. The pain of losing him was, and still is, excruciating and our lives have forever changed. Although we are not yet at the stage where we think more of his life than his deatlh, we would like to take this opportunity to share a little of Matthew's life of 23 years with you. Matthew thoroughly enjoyed participating in both individual and team sports inside and outside of school. Although Matthew participated in many sports including baseball, basketball, crosscountry running, track and volleyball his all time favorite sport was hockey. We never had any issues getting him up for 6 am practices as he was always raring to go. From a very young age Matthew always wanted to play in goal, however, we were told that he should become a stronger skater first and he agreed. So for most of his hockey years Matthew played center, but he never lost the drive to play in goal and would try to play there whenever he was given the opportunity. In many years, Matthew was choosen by his coaches to be the Captain of the team as he demonstrated superior work ethic. This work ethic went beyond sports and was evident in Matthew's schooling and work environment . In Kelowna, Matthew went to school at South Kelownna Elementary, KLO Middle, Kelowna Senior Secondary and finally to UBC Okanagan where he graduated as a Civil Engineer. He did very well in all levels of his schooling from his hard work and dedication. In his final year at UBCO Matthew was part of a team that placed 2nd in The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Capstone Competition. In every job that Matthew worked at he took his job seriously, learned quickly and worked hard without having to be asked to do so...he was the ideal employee. It was most unfortunate that after Matthew graduated from UBCO and moved to Calgary, he was not able to find a job in his studies due to the state of the economy in Calgary at the time. He did however find a job working for a concrete placing and finishing company where he was given more responsibilty in the short period of time that he worked there. Many of his co-workers said that he would have made it to foreman in no time. Matthew loved to travel and experience new adventures. We travelled quite often as a family but in recent years we were joined by our children's significant others. We had a wonderful time in Las Vegas where we enjoyed three days of Country Music (a favorite for most of us). We also went solo with Matthew on an Alaskan cruise and were very grateful as not many 21 year olds would go alone with their parents on a cruise. Matthew was not like most 21 year old as he still liked to travel with his "old" parents. Another memorable trip for Matthew and his sister was when they went to Australia and Indonesia for a couple of months. Most exciting for Matthew was the diving, the skydiving and the different animals. Matthew was engaged to Kaylin Westbrook, his high school sweetheart on June 18, 2016. It was very important to Matthew that both sets of families be included in this special day so we all arranged to go for dinner at the Quail's Gate Winery under the guise of celebrating Father's Day. In front of family and strangers, Matthew on bended knee proposed to the love of his life and they were to be wed the following August. Sadly, this day was never to be despite the love that surrounded Matthew. Matthew was a wonderful caring son who we love with all our hearts and are extremely proud of all that he accomplished in his short life.

    Cindy and Chuck Yip, Mother and Father
  • On behalf of our family, we would like to thank everyone for the tremendous support that you have provided in memory of Matthew!!

    Cindy and Chuck Yip, Mother and Father
  • Matt, everyday it is still hard to believe that the world has continued on without you in it. I will always miss you and the life that we had planed to build together. With gratitude I carry the time we had together forward with me always, and the memory of your infectious smile & lighthearted spirit. No matter the pain of losing you, the time spent with you will always be remembered as the greatest joy of my life. I am thankful we were able to find each other while still so young. Love you always.

    Kaylin Westbrook, Fiance
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Cindy and Chuck Yip

  • Darren Fraser

  • Ashley Yip

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Chuck and Cindy Yip

  • Mary & Sandy Lee

  • Jack Wakefield

  • Chuck and Cindy Yip

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Darren K Fraser

  • JGA Wealth Group

  • Cindy and Chuck Yip

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