TORONTO, May 24, 2016 /CNW/ – Earlier this month, guard.me joined thousands of Canadians across the country who stayed up all night to defeat mental illness. The annual CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health asks Canadians to give up one night to inspire hope for the 1 in 5 people who will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
“In my professional life I see so many students going through the struggle of coping with academics, adjusting to new surroundings, limited family support, lack of understanding, fear of failure and just day to day life,” says Wendy Mohammed, a Senior Consultant at guard.me who initially signed up to participate on her own. “We need to do more than just advise and refer and I have made it my passion to make a difference where and when I can.”
Wendy was supported by the guard.me keep.me SAFE program and the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, which generously provided her with a cot and refreshments in their hotel lobby. Throughout the night, various friends and guests of the hotel dropped by to show their support and take photos. At dawn, Wendy and her colleagues posted #sunriseselfies to stand in support of those living with mental illness.
According to CAMH, people living with mental illness find nighttime the hardest because in the darkness they feel most alone and have the least amount of hope.
“Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Canada and yet so many people are afraid to talk about it,” says Dr. Katy Kamkar, a clinical psychologist at the Work, Stress and Health Program & Psychological Trauma Program at CAMH. “CAMH One Brave Night offers a chance for people to leverage social media to break down stigma and challenge their peers to raise funds. It is a way for everyone to stand in support of those living with mental illness and addiction.”
In total, the CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health raised over $830,000 which will go towards improving access to care, conducting more research to find better treatments, and building more spaces for healing.
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 the area of addiction and mental health.