It was a winning night at the races on June 1st, as the St. Joe’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack raised more than $125,000 to support mental health care at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, every dollar raised at this year’s event was doubled. The event, now in its fourth year, brought together over 325 people to support a critical priority for St. Joseph’s Health Centre – mental health care.
Proceeds from the event will go towards a $3 million project to expand and enhance the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. The Mental Health Emergency Services Unit is the first point of contact for the 6,500 men, women and children who come to St. Joe’s every year in crisis due to a mental health condition.
”We have one of the busiest units in the GTA and expanding this facility means we can enhance our emergency care service and the care space so our providers can continue giving our patients the best care possible,” says Dr. Jose Silveira, Chief of Psychiatry.
The vision is to have eight private rooms and to design the unit in a way that encourages healing – with space that feels warm, comfortable and calming at a time when people are anxious and scared.
The St. Joe’s Plate was once again spearheaded by Mary Anne De Monte Whelan, with the support of a committee that included two mothers who have been personally impacted by mental health. Mary Anne says mental health impacts all of us, and “this event is about raising funds and awareness for a critical resource in our community so people know there is a place to go for help.”
Guests at the St. Joe’s Plate were treated to a wonderful evening with special guest Canadian jockey Sandy Hawley.
“We have experienced such incredible support for this event from both the community we serve, and others who want to support the advancement of mental health services for those in need” said Maria Dyck, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see so many friends come together to support mental illness in our community. St. Joe’s Mental Health Emergency Services Unit is a valuable resource staffed by experts with the skills and experience to provide urgent care for those who need to get help. Now we’re expanding and evolving our facility to ensure it matches the warmth and excellence of our physicians and staff.”