Local High School Raises Over $2,000 for Mental Health

May 20, 2010

Students at All Saints Catholic Secondary School (All Saints) were so inspired after attending a Stomp out Stigma Summit on mental health they wanted to continue raising awareness at their own school.

A group of senior students came together and started planning ways they could create more awareness about mental health and raise money for Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health (Ontario Shores Foundation). They launched the first annual Mental Health Awareness Week at All Saints.

“Not a lot of students are comfortable getting help or know that help is available,” said Zachary Leveque-Wilson, member of the Stomp out Stigma group. “The group wants to stomp out the stigma of mental illness and get the word out to students that they are not alone and it is okay to talk about it.”

The week began with a non-uniform day with proceeds benefitting Ontario Shores Foundation. It also featured a series of morning announcements to share information about mental health and a dedicated section in the library for mental health resources. There was a poster campaign throughout the school highlighting actors, athletes, scholars and musicians with mental illness. The week closed with an assembly for Grade 12 students that dispelled the myths of mental illness.

Principal Gloria Krampp welcomes the opportunity to bring more mental health education to students and teachers. “We believe it is important to reach every student and identify what we can do to help them succeed,” says Krampp. “More awareness, greater education and reduced stigma will help teachers to identify the signs of mental health problems and students feel comfortable talking about it.”

This is the first year All Saints has celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week. The staff and students will build on this program every year and encourage more students to become involved.

“The Foundation is so fortunate to have such an inspiring group of students lead an important awareness campaign for mental health,” said Jennifer Clark, Executive Director, Ontario Shores Foundation. “These students set a wonderful example of how other schools can incorporate mental health awareness into their education programs.”

All Saints was recently awarded $3,500 from the Dare to Dream program. This program is overseen by the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It is coordinated by youth and designed for youth who are interested in making their peers and community more aware of mental illness and decreasing the stigma that is typically associated with it. All Saints will use this money to create future mental health awareness initiatives for students.

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 4001