Quebecer among winners of mental health awards

Originally From and full story at The Montreal Gazette

Josée Parent, who created the Mon Shack … Mes Choix … Mon Avenir! An organization in Sherbrooke in 2013 for young people living with mental illness.

She is one of seven winners of the 2018 Champions of Mental Health Awards announced by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Mon Shack, the first organization of its kind in the Eastern Townships, provides bilingual services for people age 18 to 36 living with mental health issues; it is set to open a community housing project this summer to provide 18 transitional housing units. Groundbreaking for the two-storey structure took place in December.

Kristin Legault-Donkers was awarded the Sharon Johnston Champion of Mental Health Award for Youth. The young Ontario woman, who grew up with mental-health challenges, has written the Children’s Mental Health Series, a series of four books adapted into an educational package used in schools in London, Ont.

Traci Melchor, a Canadian television personality who has shared her continuing struggle with mental illness, along with the message that, “It’s OK not to be OK,” wins in the media category.

The winner in the community organization category is the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, which works with individuals and families living with mental illness to address the ongoing effects of residential-school trauma, racial discrimination, addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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