Today we attended a sold out Breakfast of Champions event held at the London Convention Centre in partnership with St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation. Former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk was the powerful keynote speaker who shared his incredible journey of his own struggles and his ongoing mental health advocacy. This was an inspiring event that continued the conversation of mental wellness during Mental Health Week. The event raises funds to support mental health programs through St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation.
At the event we recognized our nominees and announced the 2018 Champion of Mental Health Award recipients. Congratulations to our winners, Kristin Legault-Donkers and Lubrico Warranty and to all our nominees.
Our Winners Were:
Kristin Legault-Donkers (individual category)
Kristin Legault-Donkers is a psychology student at King’s University College. In 2015, inspired by her own struggles, Kristin began writing letters to the editor about the shortcomings of mental health care. Since then, she has become a strong advocate for mental health care, sharing her story with media and community groups to help reduce stigma.
In 2016, Kristin published the Children’s Mental Health Series of books profiling depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and ADHD in child-friendly language. To complement the stories, she collaborated with a teacher to create a comprehensive educational package. In addition to her advocacy, Kristin writes a blog offering encouragement to others living with mental illness.
Lubrico Warranty (organization category)
Lubrico Warranty is a London-based company that specializes in providing used car warranties. Employees at Lubrico Warranty have credited the company for not only driving awareness and education on mental health as part of their workplace culture, but also for their commitment to erase stigma through initiatives like the development of a Mental Health Committee and “Mindful Mondays”.
As evidenced through their low staff turn-over rate, Lubrico’s employees affirm that open dialogue about mental health is at the forefront of Lubrico’s core values.
Dr. Dave Robinson
Dr. Dave Robinson has dedicated 25 years to the field of psychiatry, both providing treatment and advancing academic knowledge in the area of mental health care.
Since 2012, he has run regular clinics at CMHA Middlesex to provide ongoing care for clients and assess people referred for a psychiatric evaluation by the Crisis Services. Dr. Robinson involves his clients directly in determining their treatment plans, and has earned a reputation as someone who will keep searching for the best solution.
In addition to his clinical and academic work, Dr. Robinson volunteers as a clinician and educator for a number of community partners.
Eight years ago, Eenie Jewel was on Dundas Street supporting a family member and was moved by the need of the patrons visiting the London Coffee House, which serves at-risk individuals experiencing homelessness, extreme poverty and isolation. After this initial visit, Eenie left feeling determined to make a difference.
Since then, she has visited the London Coffee House every Sunday with trays of sandwiches to feed the members. Eenie collects donations from her church to purchase the ingredients, and makes all the sandwiches herself. While the food is appreciated, members at the London Coffee House comment that Eenie’s greatest gift is the reminder that they are not facing their challenges alone.”
Active Minds, Western
Active Minds Western is a student-run mental health club at Western University. Working closely with the University Students’ Council, the group polled students about whether student mental health should be a high priority for Western’s strategic plan – to which a reported 89.3% of voters indicated “yes”.
Through ongoing consultation with students, Active Minds Western provided recommendations to Western administrators to implement effective mental health strategies. The group also published a paper, “We Demand More: A Pathway to Mental Health Reform at Western University,” to serve as a foundation for future efforts to support advocacy, education, growth, connection and awareness.
Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (FIJI)
Following the suicide loss of one of their founders Austen Berlet in 2009, the brothers of Western University’s FIJI fraternity have hosted the ABC Campout for Mental Health each spring since to raise awareness and funds in support of mental health initiatives on campus.
The Campout’s success has led to the support from the London Community Foundation in the form of an endowment fund. This provides an increase to mental health support for Western and Fanshawe students during high-stress exam periods, bridging the gap that had existed previously for students seeking access to mental health care in the broader community.
Positive Voice is a program at Nokee Kwe that supports Indigenous women in the development of personal narratives and positive identity. The program advocates for issues related to mental health, including reducing the social isolation of urban Indigenous women, providing support for the effects of colonialism and intergenerational trauma, and increasing community understanding of systemic barriers.
Through peer mentoring, art exhibitions, and public speaking, participants are offered a safe space to openly discuss their experiences and feel empowered to establish meaningful connections with one another.