Media Alert: March 2, 2016

Gala co-hosted by Henry Burris of the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Robyn Bresnahan of CBC Ottawa will also recognize local community members for their contributions to mental health advocacy and awareness

The Royal will host its 13th annual Inspiration Awards Gala on Friday, March 4, 2016. Co-hosted by Henry Burris of the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Robyn Bresnahan of CBC Ottawa, the gala honours people who have inspired awareness about mental health and hope for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

This year, the Inspiration Awards Gala will feature a special presentation to Margaret Trudeau who will be named the first Honourary Patron of The Royal. Through her tireless work as a mental health advocate, Mrs. Trudeau has helped to break down the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Since receiving life-changing treatment at The Royal, she has generously championed several causes on the organization’s behalf including the 2006 fundraising campaign to build the new Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre; advocacy support for Women’s Mental Health at The Royal; and she has personally supported the Centre’s Suits Me program, which helps women in recovery to build confidence in their abilities, learn self-care and make the transition to the workplace. Mrs. Trudeau is a beacon of hope for those suffering from mental illness and living proof that recovery is possible.

Inspiration Awards will also be presented to six community members who have inspired awareness about mental health and hope for individuals and families affected by mental illness. They are:

  • Gayle Grass, author of the Iris the Dragon books that help children start conversations about mental health at an early age.
  • Jayson Pham, a university student who shares his story of living with PTSD and depression to help end stigma and promote mental wellness.
  • Dr. Abigail Ortiz, a psychiatrist at The Royal researching mood fluctuations in patients suffering from depression and bipolar disorder with the hope of being able to predict, and ultimately prevent, major manic and depressive episodes.
  • Jean-Francois Claude, a leading advocate for men’s mental health in Canada (@DysthymicDad), who has used his personal struggle with depression as a catalyst for change, successfully campaigning for the creation of Men’s Mental Health Day as an annual lead up to Father’s Day
  • Tyrone Gamble, a peer support worker, educator and advocate who draws on his own experience with bipolar disorder and psychosis to help others on their journeys of recovery from mental illness.
  • Ruth Maxwell, a community leader who has spent countless hours promoting, advocating and fundraising for mental health on all levels.

Winners of The Royal’s 2016 Youth Video Contest will also be announced at the gala.

The Royal’s Inspiration Awards gala is a fundraiser to support leading edge mental health care and research at The Royal.

Where: Delta Ottawa City Centre, 101 Lyon Street N
When: Friday, March 4 (6PM reception, award ceremony starts at 7:15)

  • Special Guests Margaret Trudeau and Daniel Alfredsson
  • Co-Hosts Henry Burris, quarterback for the Ottawa REDBLACKS, and Robyn Bresnahan, host of CBC Ottawa Morning
  • Inspiration Award Recipients (listed above)
  • Local MPs, MPPs, Ambassadors, as well as community and business leaders

Leaders from The Royal including:

  • George Weber, President and CEO
  • Dr. Zul Merali, President and CEO of The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research
  • Nancy Stanton, Acting President and CEO of The Royal’s Foundation

For more information or to set up interviews with award recipients please contact:

Karen Monaghan, 613.868.3740
Sue Walton, 613.857.9752

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