Georgian students donate $25,000 to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre to help mental health services for youth
November 17, 2016

The Georgian College Student Association (GCSA) made a historic donation to the RVH Foundation's Hearts & Minds campaign with a $25,000 gift. This donation-the first of its kind from Georgian students- will be used for the development of a Child and Youth Mental Health program at RVH. Pictured from left: David McCullough, Chair, Hearts & Minds Cabinet; Mary-Lynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College; Janice Skot, RVH President and CEO; Hunter Markle, GCSA; Avery Konda, GCSA; and Mary Webb, Manager, Child and Youth Mental Health program and Adult Crisis Services.

The Georgian College Student Association (GCSA) made a historic donation to the RVH Foundation’s Hearts & Minds campaign with a $25,000 gift. This donation-the first of its kind from Georgian students- will be used for the development of a Child and Youth Mental Health program at RVH. Pictured from left: David McCullough, Chair, Hearts & Minds Cabinet; Mary-Lynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College; Janice Skot, RVH President and CEO; Hunter Markle, GCSA; Avery Konda, GCSA; and Mary Webb, Manager, Child and Youth Mental Health program and Adult Crisis Services.

Mental health services for young people are needed more than ever. In response, the Barrie Campus Georgian College Students’ Association is donating $25,000 to support mental health services for children and youth at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).

The donation is rooted in a recognition by Georgian students, through the GSCA, that mental health services for local youth are a priority. The funds come from reserves held by the student council.

GCSA representatives were joined by Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes and RVH President and CEO Janice Skot in a ceremony at the Barrie Campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

“Many members of our student union and fellow Georgian students know what it’s like to struggle with mental health,” says Hunter Markle, Vice President External and Equity, Georgian College Students’ Association. “We want to give back to the next generation of students, to let them know that their mental health diagnosis is only one of part of who they are; that they can have the lives that they want, regardless of the battle they may be fighting in their minds; and to let them know that they’re not alone in this first step towards getting better.”

Markle said student council members know how hard it can be to take the first step towards asking for help, and how much harder that is when resources are not available close by. They hope that this donation will change that situation for the better.

“Children and youth in the Barrie community and in Simcoe County deserve a place to recover without having to uproot their lives,” she added. “We have trusted RVH to take care of our community for 119 years. We trust them to do the same children and youth going forward.”

“This is the only region in the entire province without inpatient child and youth mental health services and that’s just not right. We need to do better for young people and their families in our region,” says Janice Skot. “That’s why donations like this are so important as we develop a program at RVH that will feature an eight-bed inpatient unit, day program, outpatient and crisis services. We’ve always considered Georgian College a valued partner due to our physical proximity but now they are also a partner in bringing care closer to home.”