Thank goodness for goodness

5 Apr

It has been a crazy, busy, big two weeks!  The event planning has suffered a bit, but we’re pressing forward and making some exciting progress.  All those people who have come together to make Friends With Benefits possible received some very exciting news this week: we now have two major sponsors who have come on board to help defray the costs of the event.  This means that every single penny of the $20 ticket price will go directly to the Royal’s Jennie James Depression Research Fund.  A big thank you to Watson Di Primio Steel Investment Management and Paul Bourque of Team Bourque Keller Williams Ottawa Realty for their generous donations.

Did you know that mental illness, specifically major depression, is the single greatest cause of workplace disability in our society today?  This results in huge costs to both business, government and most importantly, the people living with depression. The Royal sums it up best in some of their promotional material – as a result of depression: “Normal healthy lives are devastated. Families are torn apart. Lives are lost.”  100% of the money raised by Friends With Benefits will go directly to the Jennie James Depression Research Fund and research activities at the Royal which aim to provide faster diagnosis and treatment for people living with depression.  This research will improve the quality of live for individuals living with depression, and in some cases save lives.

In addition to funding these important research initiatives it is my hope that Friends With Benefits will also start a conversation about mental health – whether it be illustrating that there are many people who are living (and thriving) in our community who also have a mental illness or whether it be talking about ways we can all do more to care for our own mental health in our go-go-go, super connected society.

A great campaign was launched this week called “Not Myself Today” which has a similar goal.  The campaign aims to start a dialogue about mental health and to create positive change in our health care system so that those with mental health challenges can get the kind of help that they need, when they need it.  Read more by visiting and take the pledge to improve mental health in Canada.  By taking the pledge you pledge to:

  • Pay more attention to your mental health and well-being
  • Support a loved one/friend/co-worker who is living with a mental health issue or illness
  • Challenge the negative stereotypes and attitudes that exist around mental illness
  • Contact your elected officials to help influence policy that will improve the mental health system
  • Volunteer your time to support the mental health cause
  • Donate/fundraise for the mental health cause

By attending Friends With Benefits on May 11, 2012 you’ll be fulfilling your pledge: you’ll be uniting with other members of your community to challenge the negative stereotypes and attitudes that exist around mental illness and you’ll be donating to a mental health cause.  How better to spend a Friday night?


One Response to “Thank goodness for goodness”

  1. Devon April 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Congrats on the sponsors, LH – that’s amazing! And that looks like a great campaign launched byPartners for Mental Health.

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