CAMH Foundation

CAMH Foundation

December 16, 2009 11:11 ET

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Appeals to Last Minute Christmas Shoppers to Give the Gift of Light

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) - With just over a week left until Christmas, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation is asking you to consider donating a Gift of Light to help bring comfort to someone staying at the hospital over the holidays.

It is not too late to purchase a Gift of Light by calling 416 979-6909 or visiting

"Holidays are a time when people make the most effort to get together, but for those with mental illness or addictions, holiday loneliness can be extreme," said campaign spokesperson, broadcaster Valerie Pringle. "On the inpatient wards at CAMH during the holidays, the time of year when most family and friends make the greatest effort to get together, visitors are scarce."

"A Gift of Light is a reminder to those at the hospital that someone cares about them and is cheering them on in their recovery. For some, this is the only gift they will receive. It is also a way to make a statement to fight the stigma against mental illness and addiction," Pringle said.

Gifts of Light are practical gifts, ranging in price from $10 to $75. The gifts are being wrapped and delivered to patients on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Gifts of Light are carefully selected items that will bring comfort to those staying at CAMH, including a care kit, personal blanket, robe and sleepwear. Other gifts include symbolic donations to support art therapy, support family programs, provide nutritional breakfasts and promote education. Holiday gifts include donations to create a holiday celebration or purchase winter hats, scarves and gloves.

For every Gift of Light purchased, donors will receive a holiday card or e-card that can be shared with family and friends explaining how the gift, purchased in their honour, has touched the life of someone living with mental illness or addiction.

Because of the stigma that surrounds mental health, many people at the hospital do not receive cards, gifts or even visitors while undergoing treatment. In fact, despite having almost 600 beds, CAMH is one of the only hospitals in Canada that does not have a gift shop - simply because there is not enough call for gifts.

Mental illness and addiction can strike any of our families. One in five Canadians experience mental illness or addiction during their lifetime, and still too many suffer in silence and are afraid to seek the help they need because of stigma. Each Gift of Light purchased not only brings hope to those at CAMH, but it sends a strong message of your determination to shed light on mental illness and addiction.

For more information or to purchase a Gift of Light, visit or call 416-979-6909, toll free at 1-800-414-0471.

About CAMH

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Contact Information

  • CAMH Foundation
    Karen Snider
    416 277-7907