On May 10, 2018, we hosted an inaugural celebration of Edmonton’s mental health community, recognizing both individuals and organizations in our city who have championed mental health initiatives and are making a difference in our community. The event included a lunch reception and the awards ceremony recognized mental health leaders in varying categories including media, workplace, elected officials as well as emerging, young leaders.
We are grateful for our sponsors, guests, and donors to help make our first Momentum Mental Health Awards a huge success. Participation in Momentum Walk-in Counselling’s first annual Mental Health Awards allowed us to strengthen Edmonton’s mental health community while also fundraising for our continued services at Momentum.
Elizabeth Turnbull: Leader Award
Elizabeth is an established Edmonton based opera performer and current educator who lost her husband in 2015 due to complications related to mental illness. With the support of artists from across the country, she put together a nation-wide, live-streamed concert to raise awareness of suicide while paying tribute to her deceased husband.
Bailey Dunbar: Young Leader Award
Bailey is a young 17 year old girl who lost her twin sister to suicide. Fueled by her commitment to end bullying, she has partnered with Edmonton Mental Health Awareness Committee on a number of initiatives including The Bridge of Life, YEG Semicolon, and Community Breakfast Events. She is also piloting a youth stakeholder group to identify what types of topics and events would inspire youth to connect with future anti-bullying initiatives.
Quinn Ohler: Traditional Media Award
Quinn Ohler anchors Global News Hour at 6 and Global News at 11 weekends on Global Edmonton. She is also a board member for the Mental Rescue Organization, a not-for-profit focused on raising funds and awareness for mental health, and for the last two years, has helped coordinate the Great Stair Climb event for Momentum Walk-In Counselling. Quinn has also made a stand against cyberbullying by publicly responding to hate mail with confidence and grace
Blake Loates: New Media Award
Blake is a talented local photographer who uses her platform to advocate for mental health. Living with Bipolar Disorder herself, Blake has made it her mission to open a positive yet honest dialogue about ending the mental health stigma. She regularly works with multiple mental health organizations to reduce stigma and raise awareness of support and services for mental health in the community, while sharing her own mental health journey regularly through social media and creating mental health awareness and suicide prevention initiatives including the We All Believe In You project, and the Messages of Hope project.
Councillor Scott McKeen: Elected Official Award
Scott is the City Councillor for Ward 6, and has always been actively involved in the community, even before his election win, as Director of the Downtown Edmonton Community League, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction. Since his election in 2013, Scott has advocated for our most vulnerable population with his Mental Health and Urban Isolation initiative and through affordable housing and harm reduction strategies.
Ibrahim Long: Researcher/Clinician Award
Ibrahim is the only Muslim Hospital Chaplain in Canada who is a certified member of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC). He actively starts conversations about mental health in many mosques, community centres, and other gathering places. Beyond making himself available to community members in need, he has developed multiple training and mentorship programs to provide access to, education on, and understanding of mental health.
Mental Rescue Society: Community Organization Award
Mental Rescue Society is a non-profit advocacy organization that raises awareness for PTSD in first responders and fire personnel. Through public campaigns, their team increases awareness while supporting programs and services for all individuals and their families. Co-founded by first responders who banded together to put a spotlight on PTSD and mental health issues, Mental Rescue Society hosts events to raise money for mental health resources in Edmonton.
Jigsaw for Hair: Workplace Mental Health Award
Tawsha Klein-Sparks, Owner of Jigsaw for Hair, has invested in weekly stylist training that includes health and wellness topics, as clients often unload their heavy-weighing issues on their stylists. She has also brought in a Registered Psychologist to talk to her staff about coping with their own issues and how to address client difficulties, and has invited many other mental health experts into the salon to educate her staff, while creating a positive workplace culture that promotes support, relationship building, self-care, and communication.
Syncrude: Workplace Mental Health (Energy Sector)
Syncrude has a health care team dedicated to employee health and wellness, and undertakes a number of ongoing initiatives to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health. These include communication, wellness fairs, an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), supports over and above EFAP, and sponsoring lectures that are open to employees and the community.
Joanne Brander: Employee Mental Health Award
Joanne Brander is a Canadian Certified Counsellor, Momentum Team Lead and Volunteer Coordinator. When Momentum was founded, Joanne signed up as Secretary of the Board. She volunteered as one of Momentum’s first therapists, and she is always the first person to jump in and help when there is a flood or an office relocation. She is not only a stellar therapist, but a thoughtful, caring mentor and team member.