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E-news from St. Joe's Foundation | 2021 May Mental Health Week Edition

Gift From Anonymous Donors Will Help People in Crisis

$500,000 Donation Will Help St. Joe’s Build a new Home for Emergency Mental Health Care


Photo credit: Lisa Polewski / Global News

An anonymous couple has made a generous gift of $500,000 to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation to support the Hospital’s fundraising campaign to build a new home for Emergency Mental Health Care.

The gift couldn’t have come at a better time as demand for mental health care has increased by 40 per cent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rates of substance use, abuse and dependency are also increasing as Canadians struggle to cope with stay-at-home orders, missing our families and friends and longing for the activities we enjoy the most. St. Joe’s is the region’s leading provider of mental health and addictions care for people aged 17 and older, and St. Joe’s staff are seeing an alarming increase in the sheer number of people arriving at the emergency room in crisis.

Inspired by their Christian faith and recognizing the incredible need, the donor couple made their gift on Good Friday. “We’ve seen the effects mental health challenges can have on individuals, on businesses and on families in our community. We’ve always chosen to give anonymously. Rather than focusing on us, we would rather draw attention to the role that St. Joe’s plays as the second largest provider of mental health care in Ontario. And we want to encourage others to invest in this project, so that when people are in crisis, they know they can turn to St. Joe’s for leading-edge care delivered in an environment that was built with patients in mind.”

Read more about this generous gift and how it's helping to bring us one step closer to building a better home to care for the mental health needs of our community. If you would like to make a donation to help raise the funds needed for this essential project, please click here.

Linking Youth to the Mental Health Care They Need

At a Critical Time, The Joyce Family Foundation Renews their Support of Youth Mental Health at St. Joe’s


Even pre-pandemic, mental health concerns among youth were on the rise. Now, in the midst of ongoing physical distancing measures, a return to online learning, restricted access to leisure activities and not being able to see friends and support networks in person, the mental health of our community’s youth is suffering.

It’s an issue that The Joyce Family Foundation has been helping to address for several years now. In 2017, a $1 million gift from the Joyce Family Foundation helped to open an expanded space called The Joyce Link inside St. Joseph’s Youth Wellness Centre (YWC). But the $1 million gift didn’t just provide additional square-footage to connect more youth in need with qualified mental health professionals, it also enabled St. Joe’s to hire their first Transition Youth Mentor—an individual dedicated to working with youth transitioning from the child to adult mental health sector.

Now, with a new $225,000 gift announced during Mental Health Week, The Joyce Family Foundation is reaffirming its commitment to helping youth to overcome the mental health or addiction related challenges they may be facing by providing funding for a Transition Youth Mentor to be added to the YWC staff complement for the next three years. Read more about this incredible commitment to youth mental health here or make your own donation by clicking here.

See Serena Ryder at A Mental Health Morning

The Juno Award-Winning Musician and Mental Health Advocate will be Headlining the 9th Annual A Mental Health Morning

serena ryder

For Serena Ryder, music is medicine. Her raw and earnest songwriting and beautifully electric live performances of songs like Stompa and Got Your Number, have made her a favourite amongst fans, peers, and critics alike.

On the outside, she was a rising international star. But on the inside she was battling a deep depression that triggered an identity crisis and onstage panic attacks. She admits that she uses music as her medicine, which has helped her navigate many of the difficulties associated with depression and anxiety. Ryder also learned to be vulnerable and embrace her truth, both of which played a role in her healing process.

“I have so many feelings that I have swallowed, and they add up, coming out one way or another -- often by bypassing the truth, getting angry, defensive, even masking with partying or bad relationships,” says Ryder. “I’ve found that tears are actually the best way to heal, because we actually release healing hormones when we cry. I’d love to normalize crying, as tears have healed me many times."

We're thrilled to announce that Serena Ryder is the keynote speaker at our 9th Annual A Mental Health Morning event on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Guests can join Serena from the comfort and safety of their home or office to listen in as she sings a song or two and shares her personal mental health story. We will also celebrate our 2021 Spirit of Hope Award Winners. Click here to nominate someone for a Spirit of Hope Award.

As we know how much we are all struggling with our mental health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Joe’s will once again offer attendance to A Mental Health Morning free of charge, but we ask that you consider making a donation to support our mental health and addiction program that provides care for our community during this difficult time.

Tips on Talking to Youth about Mental Health Amidst a Return to Virtual Schooling

roselyn wilson

On April 12th, the provincial government announced that students will again be moving from in-person learning to remote schooling following spring break. While all students have been affected by these disruptions to their daily life and routine, some are feeling the changes more deeply than others. For many students, the pandemic has had a negative impact on their overall mental health and well-being.

Last May, Dr. Roselyn Wilson, a psychiatrist at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton's Youth Wellness Centre, spoke with CBC to offer some tips to help young people cope with the stress and anxiety they face while on lockdown during COVID-19. While the interview is nearly one-year old, it's still just as relevant today. From creating a calming presence, to building structure and acknowledging difficult emotions, these are helpful tips whether you’re a parent, friend, family member or support person. To watch Dr. Wilson's full interview, or read an edited and abridged transcript courtesy of CBC Hamilton click here.

Mental Health Services for Health & Community Care Workers

frontline staff mental health support

Health and community care workers have made a selfless commitment to care for our region during COVID-19. At work and at home, they have shown incredible strength. But even the strongest among us need help sometimes. Anxiety, exhaustion and compassion fatigue are all normal responses in this pandemic. It’s ok to say it: this is really hard. If you are a first responder, health care or community care worker impacted by feelings of anxiety, fear - or depression, supports are available to help you cope. St. Joe's is proud to be one of five Hospitals in Ontario offering these essential services, and we're grateful to our donors for their support of these efforts, too. Click here for more information.

Hope Springs at St. Joe's with a New 50/50 Lottery

lottery family

This Spring, you have the chance to win BIG with the Hope Springs 50/50 Lottery supporting St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation. Fifty percent of ticket sales make up the ever-growing jackpot, while the other fifty percent will support the Hospital that is caring for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. There’s more than $10,000 in cash and prizes to be won. Purchase your tickets before May 19 for your chance to win the early bird prize of $500, too! Get your tickets today at Tickets are on sale until June 3, 2021 at midnight. Grand Prize Draw will take place on June 4, 2021 at noon.​

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