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Power of Giving Gala raises funds and awareness for mental health expansion

A smiling woman with blonde hair tied back and a black jacket speaks at a podium as another woman claps in the background

On Saturday, September 24, 2022, the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation hosted the Power of Giving Hybrid Gala, in person at Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene and online through the Foundation’s You Tube channel. The event, presented by Faris Team Real Estate Brokerage, raised more than $385,000 for the Foundation’s Impact Fund, which addresses the highest priority capital needs for GBGH. 

One of the key priorities on the horizon for the hospital is building a comprehensive acute mental health program. This was the inspiration for the event’s focus on mental health awareness and advocacy. To bring that focus to life, the evening’s program included award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and physician Dr. Samantha Nutt. Dr. Nutt spoke to the audience about her experience caring for patients with mental illness in a small community.

In those really critical moments, when what you really need is support, some therapy, a diagnosis, maybe some medication, maybe a brief or extended hospitalization, every layer that gets added, every distance that gets built in to the challenge of accessing that care, puts that person’s life at risk,shared Dr. Nutt. “Tonight is about achieving different outcomes, about removing the barriers that so many people in our communities face when it comes to accessing mental health care. 

Building on the theme of mental health, Power of Giving guests learned more about the proposed acute mental health program for GBGH through a very powerful video featuring the Foundation’s executive director, Nicole Kraftscik, who shared her own struggle with mental illness.  

People are getting lost in this system, and people are suffering,” shared Kraftscik. “And, whether it’s your neighbour, your grandmother, your father, or brother or sister, mental health does not discriminate. I know what care can look like when it’s all in one building, and I want that for my hospital…for your hospital…for GBGH. 

Collectively, through generous donations made during the event, business sponsorship, ticket sales, online auction and sales of the Gbay Bag, more than $385,000 was raised for the Foundation’s Impact Fund. 

Anyone interested in watching the event can do so through the Foundation’s You Tube Channel.  You can also watch Nicole’s personal mental health story here.

To learn more about Mental Health services at Georgian Bay General Hospital, click here

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