May 7, 2020
Huge Thank You to Brantford!
By Christine Dragojlovich, Clinical Manager
The ‘funnest’ work week of the year for Woodview Brantford
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHW) is a time when the Brantford community comes together to raise awareness for mental wellness. We celebrate each year during the first week of May. The MHW committee is comprised of community partners, the school boards, community members, and two co-facilitators, Lill Petrella from the Canadian Mental Health Association and myself, Christine Dragojlovich from Woodview Mental Health & Autism Services.
Virtual Mental Health Week 2020
Each year, the committee dedicates their time to different events in Brantford, Brant County, and Six Nations and we all participate and have a fantastic time. This year, due to COVID-19, we facilitated our first virtual Mental Health Awareness Week! This is when the magic started to happen. Watching both the committee and Woodview become ‘virtual’ overnight has been incredible. It has warmed my heart to see the amazing dedication and care that our team has for raising mental health awareness and thinking outside of the box to ensure that the week would still happen.
The Woodview Way
It began when I asked our Wraparound Facilitator Libby Wright to come aboard the MHW committee to support it with some of her virtual skills. Libby not only ran with it, she flew with it! She started sharing brilliant and fun ideas and before long, was creating the different interactive events for the week! Libby has been on her computer day and night creating, editing, and posting. Then, Robyn Sharpe jumped in with both feet and shared her creative ideas too. Soon, we added the two of them as administrators to the community-run Brant’s Mental Health Awareness Week Facebook Page; they soon added Instagram and Twitter accounts for the Mental Health Week group too. Christine Faulkner, accepted emails daily to update the calendar of events (and did a fabulous job), Jenna Peterson kept all committee members on track by taking minutes during virtual meetings, and Theresa Vidal Smith led the Kick Off event. Next, it was time to create all the various events that Woodview hosts throughout MHW but with a different flair to them!
Our Kick Off Event had great representation from our Brantford programs: Flora Ennis, Kelly Bryant, Amanda Detmar, Christina Ferrell, Robyn Sharpe, Libby Wright, Tristan Price, Jordan Ribeiro, Jill McStravick, and Sarah Precious, all participated in creating a video about the programs that we offer in Brantford. Robyn, Sarah and Emmett MacNeil supported the Fortitude Youth Group (youth engagement group) with the annual Coffee House event which was streamed throughout the first day of MHW. Our very own Bill Brimms stole the show with his ‘dad magic’! We were also very entertained by Taylor Robertson and Daniel Boskovic with their fun talents!
During the MHW, Woodview staff generously and happily agreed to participate in different partner events too. Brittany Krasevich supported a community partner in creating a video. Craig Tustin hosted a Parents for Children Mental Health (PCMH) virtual support group. Kevin Farrugie is hosting an art night, Chris Clattenburg is reading stories for young people, and Lindsay Craig will be live streaming on Saturday, May 9th to keep us fit – virtually – from her exercise studio.
Woodview’s mission is that we go ‘above and beyond’ and that is exactly what has happened. It is with gratitude, that I give a huge thank you and applaud all of our staff for making this the BEST MENTAL HEALTH WEEK – virtual style!
I always call this week the best work week of the year, and because of all of our staff – it was even better.
Thank you everyone!