I am fortunate to be around inspiring people each and every day.
From our patients and families to the people who help them on their recovery journey, there is something special about being around people passionate about mental health.
That passion was in abundance on Wednesday, Sept. 27 as I brought a small group of these inspiring people from Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) to the Art Gallery of Burlington to meet Brian Hansell, a father determined to make a difference.
I get it, it’s complicated.
Mental Illness is an illness that unfortunately receives compassion only when it is convenient or easy. As a society, we get Bell Let’s Talk with all the celebrities speaking about their challenges, we have compassion for children’s mental health and maybe, to some extent, we even have understanding when it comes to seniors with dementia. But when the illness is so severe or when a system fails to help someone until something tragic happens we tend to evoke our moral compass and jump to an extreme, emotional reaction.
That is not in any way an indictment on victims or to challenge their thoughts and feelings. When someone with a severe mental illness is involved in a serious incident where a life is lost, it will always evoke a strong emotional response. It is a tragedy, no question. You can’t blame those close to such an event for feeling sadness, anger, outrage or a whole gamut of emotions. But often tabloid media or social media pundits run with the story by pouring fuel on fear and hatred which really serves no one.
There’s no such thing as a slow day at the Ontario Shores Foundation.
We constantly build from one year to the next to raise funds and support the hospital and the patients who rely on the vital services provides here at Ontario Shores.
One such opportunity to raise funds was the Roger Anderson Charity Classic (RACC), which celebrated its 20th anniversary on June 8. It was a fantastic day of sunshine, sportsmanship and golf.