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The George 

 Issue 5                                      June 1, 2017
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT - Family Group Conferencing
When Emma was just a newborn, a hospital social worker became concerned about her mother's ability to take care of her and contacted the Children’s Aid Society (CAS). Shortly after that call, Emma was placed into foster care.
Emma’s mom had cognitive challenges and suffered from seizures which required consistent medical attention and medication. She was struggling with mental health issues and was non-compliant with her medical treatment, making it difficult to provide adequate care for Emma.  She had no family living in Canada who could support her and Emma’s dad was not involved with them at that time.
 
After 17 months in foster care, Emma’s dad came forward.  He wanted to be involved in his daughter’s life, but he too lacked any real support.  He lived on his own, worked long hours and had no car.  Despite this, he was determined to make a home for Emma.  CAS was open to making Dad the primary caregiver, but needed him to create a plan that would demonstrate he had supports available to him and included opportunities for Emma's mom to be involved in her life too.  
 
Family Group Conferencing (FGC) is a culturally-sensitive, alternative approach to child protection that engages and empowers families, bringing together family group members to craft a plan of care for the child(ren) that addresses concerns identified by child welfare (CAS) and children’s mental health professionals.
 
With support from the FGC Coordinator, a conference was organized that included three good friends of the parents, the dad’s two nephews, and a former employer and friend of his.  Working together, they developed a plan to keep Emma out of foster care.
 
The CAS worker was very encouraging and acknowledged the family’s commitment to keep Emma safe.  The plan they created to return Emma to her dad’s care was accepted that afternoon with a pledge of on-going support by friends and other family members.  At the end of the conference, overwhelmed with joy, Emma's dad picked her up in his arms and took her home.
The George Hull Centre for Children and Families offers Family Group Conferencing services and leads the FGC Ontario Provincial Resource. For more information on Family Group Conferencing, or to become a FGC coordinator, please click here
LAUGH OUT LOUD
Our 10th annual Laugh Out Loud comedy night at The Carlu this May was a smashing success! 
L-R: Pat McKenna, Steven Page, Joanne Profeta, Jessica Holmes & Dave Pearce
Emceed by the award-winning comedian Jessica Holmes, a sold-out crowd of over 400 guests laughed all evening with headliner Steve Patterson of CBC Radio “The Debaters”, Canadian comedic greats Patrick McKenna as Guest Improv plus Dave Pearce and Jennine Profeta, and special Musical Guest Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies fame.

Past GHC client Jillian Duffy shared her personal stories and passed along wise words including remembering that nothing is permanent and to pat ourselves on the back for getting through our struggles each day.
 
Special thanks to LOL Presenting Sponsor Orlando Corporation, Gold Sponsors RBC Capital Markets and TD Bank, and all our generous sponsors, partners, guests and volunteers. With your support, you’ve helped bring laughter back into the lives of children and youth struggling with mental health issues. 

 
GEORGE'S COUNTRY FAIR
On March 25th, 2017,  a crowd of Toronto's young professionals pulled on their cowboy boots and strode on over to Adelaide Hall for George's Country Fair. Line dancing, carnival games and a rocking concert from CCMA Award Nominees, The Rivertown Saints, who lit up the stage like a bonfire, made for a lively afternoon.

The highlight of the event was a moving and amusing speech from Noah, a former GHC client.  For those few minutes, the room was silent as Noah captured the attention of every guest. Now in it's third year, the Fair raised over $16,000 for the Centre's Group Treatment Program for Anxiety. 

George's Country Fair is hosted by We Are George, a group of young professionals committed to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to help ensure that GHC can continue providing its clinical excellence into the future. If you or anyone you know are interested in joining We Are George and making a difference in children's mental health, please email reachus@georgehull.on.ca.
INFANT MASSAGE
Over the past year, the Centre's Travelers Room was frequently transformed into a cozy massage centre, complete with massage beds, pillows and sheets, by students from the Humber College School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism. 3rd year students in the advanced massage therapy diploma course provided 45 minute treatments to 25 mothers from our OEYC program on 5 occasions, while their babies enjoyed 15 minute sessions, with the therapist showing mom how to massage her baby at home. 
Research has shown that daily infant massage may promote better sleeping, relieve colic, and perhaps even enhance an infant's immune system, motor skills and intellectual development. Not only did these sessions provide well deserved pampering for mom, they also helped the moms connect with their babies. GHC staff also enjoyed the sessions - they held the babies while the moms were relaxing!
UPCOMING EVENTS
Annual General Meeting
Thursday June 15 , 2017 
4:00 - 5:30pm 
81 The East Mall, 3rd Floor
Speaker: Carly Kalish
 
Friends Summer Camp
Speaker: Carly Kalish

Friends Summer Camp
July 17 - 21, 2017
For youth ages 12-14

Ontario Early Years Centre
Summer programs
For newborns to age 6

MENTAL HEALTH FACTS
  • 70 to 80% of all mental illnesses appear before the age of 18 - most indicators emerge in childhood and adolescence.
  • Anxiety disorders is the most common mental health problem among children today.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Canadian youth ages 10 to 24 years old.
  • The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year.
  • The disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together and more than 7 times that of all infectious diseases
Donate Now
Help us achieve our vision of all children, youth and families receiving the mental health treatment they need, when they need it.
IN THE COMMUNITY
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE EGG HUNT
SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE
Before doors opened to the public on April 15th the Easter Bunny visited Saks Fifth Avenue at Sherway Gardens in preparation for their “Spring Fete” - a celebration of flourishing fashion, hidden treats and open hearts - with 100% of the proceeds going to GHC!

Over 70 children and families hunted for plastic eggs amidst fashion’s most stylish handbags and shoe wear, while enjoying a few festive surprises along the way including face painting and animal balloons. It was such a success, Saks has generously committed to making it an annual event. Thank you Sharad Moran and Saks Fifth Avenue for this wonderful morning of family and fun, and for reaching out to the local community in support of GHC and vulnerable children.

On May 24, George Hull Centre staff gathered at Humber College for our biennial "Share the Knowledge" conference. This day-long, staff-driven event offers GHC staff the opportunity to share learning with each other and strengthen collegial relationships. The day started with a keynote address by Dr. Clive Chamberlain, founding Executive Director of the Centre and noted child psychiatrist, who recounted the history of children's mental health in Toronto including the development of The George Hull Centre itself. A variety of staff presentations followed, covering topics such as substance abuse treatment, vicarious trauma, the use of self in child and youth work, time management, mindfulness and art therapy, to name a few. It was also a great opportunity for Humber College students in the Addictions and Mental Health program who volunteered their time to help with the logistics and sat in on the presentations.
Support GHC with Mabel's Labels
Just in time for camp! When you order clothing and personal item labels from Mabel's Labels, 20% of the total purchase will go to GHC. A fun, easy and "can't lose" way to support children and youth!
Make A Donation!
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