Hello, my name is Steven Polak and I am on the board of directors for the CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. I am working with the Board on organizing the Ride Don’t Hide bike ride in support of mental health programming. This is now a national event, but it will be the first year that York Region and South Simcoe holds the event. The ride will take place on June 23, 2013.
This is an initiative that may be of interest to you, either to sponsor or to participate in the ride (we would love to have lots of riders out this year). Lerners LLP will be one of the Diamond Level Sponsors for York Region and South Simcoe. Shoppers Drug Mart is the main national sponsor. If you would like to become involved with the ride in any way, please feel free to contact me.
The ride will support a number of mental health initiatives, including the following ones:
1. Youth Wellness
The Youth Wellness Program, Mental Health Literacy and Suicide Prevention for our children. We are currently able reach 9,540 students and faculty, but there are 80,000 students in grades 6 through 12 that would benefit from any one of our courses: Surviving High School, Mental Health Myth Busting, Eating Disorders and Other Self-Harming Behaviours or Tackling Stress. However, adding courses alone is not enough, we know there are at-risk students so the program offers 1-1 support with our specially trained team members, group facilitation and over 50 consults to faculty, school administrators and parents. Our goal is to raise $85,000. This investment means that we will reach an additional 4000 students, offer 50 children 1-1 life saving support and double our consultations to faculty, school administrators and families. When lives are saved a mere $30 per student may be the best return on investment your donation can support.
2. Support for Depression
Support for Depression is facilitated by peer volunteers and overseen, supported and organized by CMHA. There is a critical need to expand this service and offer groups in other languages to accommodate different ethnic cultures or other peer groups such as women only, LGTBQ etc. To add a new group that runs throughout the year requires $5000. We are targeting 5 new groups for a total new investment of $25,000.
3. Family Support that includes educational sessions and individual support.
Every $200 raised allows one family to attend valuable workshop series to increase their understanding of mental illness and how to support their loved one and each other. This also lets them connect with other families in similar situations to provide that critical peer support and understanding.
To run one series we need a total of $4000 for 20 families. Our current waitlist is 30 families and growing. We know that when a family is in need waiting can be a burden that we don’t want to add. Your donation can make an impact right away.
Every $1000 raised allows us to work with an individual family to consult around specific needs. Each situation is unique and the ability to work one on one with our specially trained social workers can make all the difference for the family and also for their loved one.
We need $15,000 to double our current capacity and that only scratches the surface of the family support desperately needed throughout York and South Simcoe