Bell Kaleidoscope of Hope Gala Raises $90,000 for Youth Mental Health in Ottawa

bellgalaOn October 26, over 400 people gathered for the 3rd annual Bell Kaleidoscope of Hope Gala (KOH), raising $90,000 in support of youth mental health in the Ottawa area. I was so fortunate to be invited to the gala (thank you Tony!) and had an absolutely amazing time there.

Proceeds from the gala support the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Royal (DIFD).

“We’re delighted to announce that this year’s Bell KOH Gala raised $90,000 in support of youth mental health programs at the Youth Services Bureau, CHEO and the Royal,” said Sharon Bosley House and Tony House, creators of the event and parents of three teenagers. ”We’re very proud that we’ve been able to grow our event each year and continue our commitment to helping teens in our community. A special thanks to our Honourary Chairs, Mrs. Laureen Harper and Mr. Allan Hubley, Bell Let’s Talk and all of our sponsors and supporters for making this year’s event such a great success.”

The funds raised at this year’s event will support the Youth Mental Walk-in-Clinic at the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB), the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy program at CHEO and the “Is it Just Me?” school campaign championed by D.I.F.D.

“Bell Let’s Talk is very pleased to support the Youth Services Bureau, CHEO and the Royal in their efforts to help kids who need mental health treatment and counselling in the Ottawa area,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “Together we are working to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and improve access to care in the community.”

The Bell KOH Gala also introduced their inaugural Kaleidoscope of Hope Awards. The awards will be presented on an annual basis to individuals who are making a difference and increasing awareness about teen mental health. This year’s award winners were: musician Robb Nash for sharing his story and inspiring over 800,000 students across Canada, and Tad Milmine, for his “Bullying Ends Here” initiative, an internationally recognized anti-bullying program which came about as a result of his learning of the suicide of Jamie Hubley in 2011.

Across Canada every year about 4,000 young people take their own lives. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in Ottawa and Canada’s youth suicide rate is the fourth highest among OECD countries.

More information about YSB, CHEO and D.I.F.D can be found at www.ysb.cawww.cheo.on.ca and www.difd.com.

The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is a national charitable and awareness program promoting mental health across Canada with the Bell Let’s Talk Day anti-stigma campaign and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.