Mental Illness Awareness Week is celebrated the first week of October and for the last 14 years our community has come together to honour individuals recovering from mental illness or substance use challenges.
The HOPE (Health, Optimism, Pride, Empowerment) Awards celebrate recovery, promote awareness, and reduce stigma around mental health and substance use.
The first HOPE Awards celebration was held in 2008 after Island Health – Campbell River Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) provided one-time funding to organize a community forum in partnership with the MHSU Advisory Committee, the Campbell River Beacon Club and Mental Health Recovery Partners North Island (MHRPNI). The idea was to create an event during Mental Illness Awareness Week that focused on celebrating hope and positive messages around recovery.
Over the last 13 years, 95 HOPE awards have been presented. This year, HOPE Awards were presented to Gene Burgess, Tyler Miller, Robert Duck and Asger Anderson. They were recognized for their commitment to recovery, and how their individual recovery journeys are an inspiration to others.
In the past six years, various community members have received the Dr. Phil Minnaar Award, for their efforts to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and improve local services. This year the Dr. Phil Minnaar HOPE Award for Building a Positive Community was awarded to Dean Boates.
The HOPE Awards are also a celebration of community and teamwork. It really is a group effort with various organizations and people contributing. Representatives from the Beacon Club, MHRPNI, MHSU and the Advisory Committee fund and plan the celebration.
Unfortunately, due to COVID- 19 our celebration was limited to the recipients, the nominators and a few members from the HOPE Awards committee.