2022 Spirit of Hope Award Winners

A warm congratulations to this year's winners, who were recognized for their inspirational achievements at A Mental Health Morning in February. Every year, the Spirit of Hope Awards honour and celebrate those in our community who have overcome mental health or addiction challenges or made impactful contributions to these fields. This year’s recipients include:

Aiden Perry and Christina Scarpetta on behalf of Bishop Ryan Secondary School’s Celtic F.R.E.E., April Mansilla, and Kailin Murfin on behalf of Shalem Mental Health Network.
  • Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School – Celtic F.R.E.E. (Youth/Youth Group Category)
    Celtic F.R.E.E. (Fostering Respect, Equality, and Experience) is the student LGBTQ group at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School. The group began during the 2017/2018 school year by grade 11 students who recognized a need for a safe space for LGBTQ2S+ youth within the school. Since then, it has been the goal of the group to not only provide this safe space, but to also connect students with LGBTQ2S+ resources for youth within the community in order to support their own mental health and well-being.
  • April Mansilla (Individual Category)
    April is a member of the Mood Disorders Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Earlier in her life, she also received care from the program. This gives April the unique ability to offer care and support by sharing both her experience as a client and her expertise as a care provider. April is also a talented artist who has used her craft to promote safety, foster hope and support healing through beautiful murals and permanent art installations across the West 5th Campus.
  • Shalem Mental Health Network (Organization Category)
    Through their WrapAround program, Shalem supports families and individuals in our community facing multiple challenges, such as unemployment, housing insecurity, mental illness, and special needs. By using a strength-based approach, the program empowers clients and families to make their own decisions about how to best reach their goals, while the team from Shalem walks beside them to reduce barriers and restore hope.

The Spirit of Hope Awards

The Award

This award is presented annually at A Mental Health Morning breakfast event and is administered by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation. This award honours and celebrates those that have overcome mental health or addiction challenges or made impactful contributions to the mental health care or addiction field.

Three Award Categories  ̶  One award will be presented for each of the categories:

• Individual
• Youth or Youth Group/Organization (Under 19 or provides programs/services for under 19)
• Group/Organization

Selection Criteria

The award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations in the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, and Brant
communities who have made a significant contribution in one or more of the following areas:

1. Building awareness of mental health and addiction issues in our region
2. Reducing the stigma associated with mental health and addiction
3. Advancing knowledge in the area of mental health or addiction research
4. Advocating for positive change relating to mental health and addiction issues
5. Providing support or treatment to people with mental illnesses and/or addictions, their families, and/or

Thank you to our Spirit of Hope Sponsors