By: CAMH Foundation Friday, November 9, 2012
For CAMH outpatient clients Tatjana and Tracy, the winter holidays have always come with mixed emotions. During a time when spirits are high and people are joyful, some of us who suffer from mental illness and addiction can feel alone. Many CAMH clients do not receive visits, gifts, or holiday cards from family or friends.
But with help from generous donors in the community and support from CAMH staff members, like Joan Loughran and her team at the Archway Outpatient Clinic, we hope to bring happiness to CAMH clients during the holidays through the annual Gifts of Light program -the symbolic holiday giving program run by the CAMH Foundation.
The gifts consist of simple, meaningful items that are vital to clients during their road to recovery. You can also choose to support important programs and services at CAMH. This year, the Archway Clinic is one of the recipients of the program.
“I don’t have any family that I’m close to." says Tracy. "They’re all very far away and they’re too busy to associate with me during Christmas or all year around. I don’t get too much, but I appreciate what little I get. I don’t expect anything.”
While she doesn’t see her family very often, Tracy feels fortunate for the second family in her life – the staff and clients she sees at Archway. “It’s nice to go to a Christmas party once a year here at Archway and join in the festive season with people who are like a family.”
“It’s a nice feeling – somebody is looking after you and helping you in your troubles," says Tatjana. "I think you make other people feel better about themselves. They have a gift that otherwise they wouldn’t get.”
This year’s goal is to deliver 1,700 gifts to clients at CAMH, a significant increase from last year’s 1000 gift goal. We hope you consider purchasing a Gift of Light this season!