ANNOUNCEMENT: HOPES RISING – A Campaign For Mental Health At QCH

Chris and Erin Phillips - honourary chairs of the hopes rising campaign for mental health at QCHHOPES RISING at Queensway Carleton Hospital

Foundation Announces $5 Million Dollar Mental Health Campaign Launch

A $ 5 million campaign supporting mental health services was announced today at the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation’s (QCHF) Visionaries Breakfast.

HOPES RISING is a campaign inspired by the hopes of families throughout our community to enhance QCH acute mental health services for adults of all ages in the greater Ottawa region. Through its success, this campaign will help Queensway Carleton Hospital deliver the right mental health care, at the right time, by the right people and in the right setting.

“Public funding for health care services as we all know is under stress across province and this is particularly true for mental health funding, explained Melanie Adams, CEO & President of the QCH Foundation. “With no new public funds anticipated, QCH has committed to seek community support for much needed improvements in a unit which has not had any renovations or enhancements since it opened in 1976.

“I am thrilled to announce today that one of our community’s leading philanthropists, Barbara Crook, has taken the lead in this campaign with a pledge of $1 million,” Ms. Adams added.

Barbara Crook shared her story. “My first experience with mental illness was as a child, when our father spent time in a psychiatric hospital because of severe depression. I was successfully treated for depression as an adult, and became an advocate for mental health and anti-stigma awareness.

“But nothing prepared me for the shock of having a close relative suddenly develop full-blown bipolar disorder and spend more than three weeks as an inpatient at the QCH Mental Health Unit in the fall of 2013. While the care was excellent, the facility was out of date and not conducive to healing, particularly for patients who were already experiencing confusion, despair and a loss of dignity.

Dan and I hope that our gift to this campaign inspires our community to make the mental health program at QCH a priority. Together we can give hope to patients and families affected by mental illness, reduce the stigma and create a welcoming facility where healing starts the minute the patient enters.”

Funds raised will support an extensive renovation of an aging Mental Health Unit at Queensway Carleton Hospital, provide enhanced emergency programs and services for people in a mental health crisis and, help strengthen connections to community mental health support services.

Today’s event, hosted by Steve Madely, featured a panel discussion on mental health with Dr. Gerry McNestry, Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director of Mental Health Services and Dr. Andrew Falconer, QCH’s Chief of Staff. Erin and Chris Phillips are the Honorary Chairs for the Hope Rising Campaign.

QCH has experienced an increased demand for mental health services. Since 2012 the Hospital has seen an increase of 28% in mental health admissions. The Emergency Department has had a 25% increase in patients with mental diagnosis and a 55& increase in substance abuse visits over the past 4 years.

“Our patients and families are looking for hope. Hope that care will be there when needed. Hope for healing and recovery. Hope that Queensway Carleton Hospital will meet the urgent need for enhanced mental health services in our community,” said Tom Schonberg, President & CEO of Queensway Carleton Hospital. “We hope the community will join us to help QCHF reach its goal of $5 million to improve mental health services in our hospital and for our community.”

View the CTV News Announcment

View the Ottawa Citizen article and video

For more information visit: HOPESRISING.CA