A campaign in Toronto to help psychiatric patients over the holidays got more exposure this weekend when the "Gifts of Light" campaign was mentioned in the Huffington Post.
Huffington Post columnist Julia Moulden included the CAHM campaign in her annual list of gifts that "stir the hearts, minds, and souls of the ones you love."
"My head hurts just thinking about the number of people in treatment who don't get visits - or gifts - at this time of year," says Moulden, whose work explores the ways people can make a difference. Her new book, RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50, is due out in January in a press release. "I'm thrilled to learn that there's a practical way we can help."
For the past three years the Gifts of Light has encouraged the public to remember patients during the holidays with practical and meaningful gifts.
For patients in mental hospitals the stigma of mental illness makes for a difficult season. Many patients have few visitors, cards or gifts from their loved ones.
Last year the campaign saw 600 gifts being distributed to every CAMH patient. This year the campaign is being extended to help even more, some of those in out patient treatment will have a special gift. More than $65,000 has already been raised. There is a December 31 deadline.
"Everyone has the power to make a positive difference in someone else's life. Sending a Gift of Light is about telling a CAMH patient that you're thinking about them this holiday and that you're supporting them on their road to recovery," said Valerie Pringle, broadcaster and Gifts of Light ambassador.
To help visit the Gifts of Life website where you can buy a single gift or gift bundles from $10 and up. For $10 you can give a patient a care kit or a healthy outpatient breakfast.