CAMH Foundation

CAMH Foundation

May 17, 2010 07:47 ET

Former Ambassador Michael Wilson and Recipients to Receive Award Recognizing Courage in Living With Mental Illness and/or Addiction: CAMH Foundation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - Canada's former Ambassador to the United States, The Honourable Michael Wilson, will be recognized at the upcoming Transforming Lives Awards by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation for his tireless work in mental illness and addiction advocacy.

"Michael Wilson has been an important ally in our ongoing efforts to raise awareness and end stigma around mental illness and addiction," said CAMH Foundation President Darrell Louise Gregersen. "By sharing his personal story about the loss of his son, he has touched the lives of so many of us."

Mr. Wilson will receive a Transforming Lives Awards at the annual ceremony on May 26. The awards are given to those who have demonstrated courage and strength in living with the challenges of mental illness and/or addiction and now inspire others.

Mr. Wilson lost his son, Cameron, to suicide in 1995. The 29-year-old lived with depression. Following his son's death, Mr. Wilson dedicated himself to mental health advocacy. With Mr. Wilson's contribution, CAMH established the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto. He appeared in the CAMH Foundation's 2005 Transforming Lives Awareness Campaign, and since returning from Washington, he has re-joined the CAMH Foundation's Board of Directors.

The Transforming Lives Awards is a signature fundraising event for CAMH and one of the most significant mental illness celebrations in the country. For the first time in the event's 16 years, the event will take place at CAMH's 1001 Queen Street West location.

Four others, chosen from a pool of about 60 nominations, will also be recognized with a Transforming Lives Award. The recipients are:

  • Ashley Porter, 22, of London, Ontario, grew up being bounced between home, foster care and homeless shelters. She first tried drugs when she was in Grade 3 and struggled with addictions for years. Ms. Porter found stability at a job with Mind Your Mind, a web site with more than 1 million viewers every year, supporting mental health for teens;
  • Kim Mik-Girard, 31, of Toronto, is a new mother who has struggled with bipolar disorder and now leads several support groups at CAMH. She also reaches out to people in crisis through the Telephone Support Line;
  • Dexter Roberts, 39, of Toronto has battled depression since 2003. Mr. Roberts is active in the community having been involved with outreach programs for under-privileged youth; he is an advocate for seniors; and an avid volunteer in the LGBTT community, involved with Pride 2010;
  • Richard Braudo, 55, of Toronto, has demonstrated his perseverance, surviving more than 45 depressive episodes. In 1991, the Toronto lawyer was helped through electro-convulsive therapy at CAMH. Mr. Braudo's legal practice is dedicated to helping clients with mental illness; he regularly lectures at the University of Toronto's law school.

By sharing their stories, CAMH and the Transforming Lives Awards recipients hope to showcase the potential of people living with mental illness and addiction, and dispel the stigma attached to these conditions.

The Transforming Lives Awards will raise funds for the CAMH Foundation Redevelopment campaign, which aims to raise $100 million. The Redevelopment will transform CAMH's outdated facilities into a world-leading healthcare centre in an "urban village" environment. Over nine new city blocks in the heart of the city, CAMH will become Toronto's most life-changing address.

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CAMH is one of the leading addiction and mental health organizations in North America and Canada's largest mental and addiction teaching hospital. Integrating clinical care, scientific research, education, policy development and health promotion, CAMH transforms the lives of people impacted by mental health and addiction issues.

Contact Information

  • For more information about the Transforming Lives Awards,
    please contact:
    CAMH Foundation
    Lidia Franchitto
    (416) 535-8501 ext. 6169
    For media relations, please contact:
    CAMH Foundation
    Karen Snider
    (416) 277-7907