For Immediate Release – April 11, 2011 – (Toronto) –The Corporate Volunteer Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) was honoured with the Legacy Award for Community Building by Volunteer Toronto. The award was given at a ceremony at Hart House in Toronto earlier today.
The CAMH program invites corporations and businesses to volunteer their employees to spend the day engaged in recreational activities at Canada’s largest mental health and addictions hospital, where they learn about these illnesses first hand by making a difference in the lives of CAMH clients.
“People living with mental illness and addiction face the stigma of their illness on a daily basis,” said Jim Davey, Volunteer Coordinator at CAMH. “One way to combat that stigma is through education and engagement with the public. Whether it be gardening, creative writing sessions, a sports challenge or adventure-based therapy, we hear time and time again that the day that corporate volunteers spend with clients changes the way they view mental illness and addictions, including back in their own workplace. In turn, our clients build self-esteem, confidence and form bonds with others in the community.”
TD Bank Group has been a partner of the Corporate Volunteer Program for many years and has volunteered with several programs throughout CAMH. Their experiences at CAMH have been just as rewarding for volunteers as it has been for clients. "We always enjoy our volunteer sessions at CAMH,” said Elisabeth Marsden, Senior Manager, TD Bank Group. “The atmosphere is welcoming, supportive and we learn every time we volunteer. We appreciate the chance this program has given us to broaden our understanding of mental illness. We can and will help spread the message of respect and tolerance for those with mental illness."
We are honoured to be recognized by Volunteer Toronto,” said Christine Burych, Director of Volunteer Resources at CAMH. “Our Corporate Volunteer Program works closely with corporations to build and sustain healthy communities. This Legacy Award is a testament to the work of our team and shows that we are making an impact."
The Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award for Community Building is given out to organizations with strong volunteer programs that show a commitment to the concerns and issues affecting the community and have developed exceptional, responsive resources to address them through volunteer contributions. Unlike other volunteer awards and recognition ceremonies, the Volunteer Legacy Award for Community Building will be given not on the basis of the number of hours or years an organization or volunteer program has been operating but on the basis of their story and impact.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addictions.
CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre