CAMH Foundation inspires philanthropy that enables leading-edge care, research and education at CAMH. Read these stories from this year’s Annual Report to see how our donors are helping drive change for mental health.
Gifts of Light Brings Smiles and Song
Gifts of Light was launched in 2008 as a holiday program to bring joy to CAMH patients and show them they are not alone in their recovery. Since then, the program has expanded, thanks to the leadership of Donna Slaight, to include many powerful initiatives and partnerships that support even more people year-round. Last year, performers from Smile Theatre visited a number of CAMH units, hosting fun and interactive sing-alongs with patients. “We noticed an immediate shift in the environment as people came out of their rooms, sang along and even danced with our performers and one another,” says Quinn Kirby, Gifts of Light Program Manager. “It was truly one of the highlights I have had working in this program.”
CAMH Difference Makers: 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health
In 2017, CAMH recognized 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health, an initiative to shine a spotlight on those in the forefront of mental health in their communities. Throughout the fall, CAMH celebrated Difference Makers at events across Canada and shared their stories on social media. We met people like Suzanne Blackwell from Alberta, who developed a one-of-a-kind clinic to support parents living with mental illness; Elsie Morden from Nova Scotia, who is teaching students about the harms of bullying through her music; and Kirt Ejesiak from Nunavut, a leading voice for socioeconomic change in Canada’s North. The conversation has started. Inspiring stories are being told. Stigma is being destroyed. Momentum is building.
In its first three years, One Brave Night has done more than raise millions for mental health. It’s given thousands of people from across Canada a platform to share their stories of hope and inspiration. Meet Toronto singer-songwriter, Ms Paige. She believes we can all do our part to lift others up during their most difficult times. “You don’t need to understand to be understanding. That’s why it’s important that we raise awareness to relieve current stigma and raise funds to make facilities and programs available to those who need it most,” she says. “It’s important to let people know they aren’t alone in their fight and give them hope to persevere and love themselves.”