Our 9th Annual A Mental Health Morning Raises $40,000 for St. Joe’s
We are incredibly grateful to the guests, sponsors, speakers (and singers) who came together on Oct. 7 for A Mental Health Morning and lent their support (and voices) to help raise more than $40,000 for mental health and addictions care at St. Joe’s.
Brought to the community by presenting sponsor ArcelorMittal Dofasco, this year’s virtual event featured Canadian vocal powerhouse, multi-platinum artist and keynote speaker Serena Ryder. Ryder has been playing guitar and penning songs since she was a teenager. On the outside, the singer/songwriter of hit singles such as Stompa and Got Your Number was a rising international star, but on the inside she was battling a deep depression that triggered an identity crisis and onstage panic attacks.
In her powerful keynote address, Ryder shared the difficult path she took to regain her health and rediscover her voice both as a performer and mental health advocate. She also performed songs to help beat the stigma that’s too-often associated with mental health and addiction.
A Mental Health Morning also recognized recipients of St. Joseph’s Spirit of Hope Awards. These awards honour and celebrate those in the community who have overcome mental health or addiction challenges, or made impactful contributions to these fields. This year’s winners included:
- Paulina Szczepanski in the Youth category – sponsored by Bell.
- Jennifer Bonner of The Hub in the Individual category – sponsored by LiUNA Local 837
- Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice Grief Text and Online Chat Support in the Organization category – sponsored by Healthcare & Municipal Employees’ Credit Union
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on mental health, and thanks to the generous support of the event’s sponsors, registration to A Mental Health Morning was free, although attendees were invited to make a donation to help the Hospital build a new home for its Emergency Mental Health Service. Once complete, the revitalized area of care will not only be larger to expand urgent mental health services to the region, it will also be updated with modern, patient-centred amenities to deliver specialized care to those in crisis.
Now in its ninth year, A Mental Health Morning is hosted by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation in support of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton – the region’s leading provider of mental health and addiction care. Since its inception, A Mental Health Morning has raised about $375,000 for mental health and addictions programs and services at the Hospital.