Aug 12, 2021 | Mental Health
Logos for HDGH and the Maple ReLeaf Campaign
The topic of mental health has been a regularly occurring conversation here at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH). Not only because our community-based hospital specializes in the delivery of mental health and addictions care across the lifespan, but also because as leaders, as teams, as professionals and individuals we are recognizing the need to stay aware of how we are personally doing with our own mental wellness.
I think all of us can say we have felt the effects of this pandemic on our mental health and well-being in some way or another. I have spoken about this publicly and although my personal mental health is good at this point I’ve learned not to ignore it and to pay as much attention to this aspect of my health as I do to my regular checkups related to my chronic cardiac issue. I believe the impact of the pandemic will probably continue to be felt for some time to come in one way or another. While we will always be growing, learning and nurturing what makes us mentally healthy, there have also been some recent high profile, very public positive examples of what mental health looks like in our culture today. Simone Biles, the celebrated American gymnast put her mental health before her sport and let the world know that she is more than simply her accomplishments in gymnastics. She withdrew from the all-around gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics on the world stage publically stating “I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health, and not jeopardize my health and well-being.” This is courage. In the Spring we heard Prince Harry open up about his 20-year mental health struggle discussing years of pain managing his life and mental health difficulties. Whether or not you identify with the struggles of these two individuals one key message is that it’s important to acknowledge the connection between our mental health and our overall health and wellbeing. As our friends at CMHA regularly say, there is no health without mental health. Personally I’m delighted that these conversations have already started and are now becoming louder – and loud is what we need. Loud is what we have needed for a long time. Loud makes it easier for people dealing with a mental illness to know they aren’t alone and there is hope. Loud makes it harder for governments not to fund mental health programs equal to how they fund surgical programs. Loud helps families who have loved ones who are living with mental illness to know it’s ok to reach out for help. Loud removes the stigma of mental illness. We need to get louder! So today, I write this with not only a sense of progress in our work of destigmatizing this very real part of what it means to be human, but also share with you another way to talk openly, proudly and loudly about mental health, specifically mental health care in Windsor/Essex and to help us get louder. HDGH and the HDGH Foundation are so very blessed and fortunate to have been chosen as one of the 20 charities across this beautiful country of ours to take part in the Maple (Re)Leaf Campaign. How it works is that for a $30 donation, a Canadian designed and crafted Maple Leaf sculpture, created by famed Canadian artist Charles Pachter, will be planted at HDGH this September (you can watch my video message here). Even better is that if you purchase a Leaf through the HDGH Foundation page on the Maple (RE)Leaf website, all of the proceeds will benefit HDGH programs, right here in Windsor-Essex, providing support for our friends, our neighbours, our coworkers, our family or ourselves – locally when it’s needed. Together, we can provide some relief, with Maple (RE)Leaf. This campaign is not only an opportunity to raise much needed funds for our community and to care for those living with a mental health and/or addiction related concerns, but also, to talk, listen, check in, acknowledge, share, understand and ultimately live a life that is just as much focused on the health of our mind as it is on the health of our physical body. I encourage you all to do this – join me and speak loudly through your donation of a maple leaf so that when our community sees this beautifully arranged display, we recognize together that we are not alone. WE. ARE. LISTENING. Follow us and the HDGH Foundation on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest developments surrounding this exciting campaign and see which other Proud Canadians are showing their support for mental health.
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1453 Prince Rd.
Windsor, ON N9C 3Z4
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