Left to right: Ellen Boelcke (Kelowna Community Resources), Mike Gawliuk (CMHA Kelowna), Allison Ramchuk, (CEO, KGH Foundation), and Ginny Becker (CAC Kelowna) [Contributed]

Left to right: Ellen Boelcke (Kelowna Community Resources), Mike Gawliuk (CMHA Kelowna), Allison Ramchuk, (CEO, KGH Foundation), and Ginny Becker (CAC Kelowna) [Contributed]

Kelowna hospital campaign raises $1.7 million for mental health support

The ‘We See You’ campaign began on March 10, 2022

After a call to action, the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation’s asks have been answered over the last five months.

Through their ‘We See You’ campaign launched on March 10, the foundation and raised more than $1.7 million for local mental health care and long-term action.

“I am incredibly proud of this community for stepping up and taking action on an area of health care where we so desperately need funding right now,” said Allison Ramchuk, CEO of the KGH Foundation. “The swiftness with which we reached our goal sends a clear message to all who are struggling right now. We see you.”

The campaign was launched to provide desperately-needed funding for mental health programs and resources around Kelowna. Because of the overwhelming demand for mental health treatments, the money is already being distributed to community service providers, starting with the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna to help fill their Family Peer supporter position.

“A Family Peer Supporter is a person who uses their own living/lived experience to help others,” said Mike Gawliuk, CEO of CMHA Kelowna. “They know what it’s like to be a parent of a young person who is experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges and trying to navigate the system for help.”

Funds are also going to the Child Advocate Centre (CAC) to support children who have experienced trauma and abuse.

There is an increased demand for mental health services, and with that, an increased demand for facilities that are inclusive, accessible, and sustainable for people.

A committee of local community health care leaders for the fund will have the first meeting on Oct. 8.

“The mental health crisis permeates every aspect of our collective society,” said Becker. “It will truly take the entire community to make a difference. That’s what is finally happening. The entire community is standing together. We are deeply grateful to all who supported this campaign, and who will continue to give in support local mental health programs.”

For more information about the campaign, and the money raised, visit the KGH Foundation.

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@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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