Every year, I eagerly await the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health’s (CAMIMH) announcement of their chosen Champions of Mental Health, crossing my fingers that friends and partners of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) will be honored for their efforts.
I could not have been more delighted to see Stella’s Circle named as an honoree in the Community Organization category. From employing aspiring workers – those who have been sidelined from the workforce due to mental health concerns — to creating social enterprises that furnish a much-needed community service, organization’s like Stella’s Circle are doing more than changing individual lives.
They are strengthening the fabric of our community.
Over the last four years, under the tireless leadership of Lisa Browne, the impact of Stella’s Circle has grown ever larger. I brag shamelessly about the Hungry Heart Café to anyone who will listen, and I am a regular patron every time I return home to St. John’s.
The MHCC has a saying, “Mental health is like a three-legged stool. For our wellness to flourish, we all benefit from a home, a job and a friend.” Stella’s Circle furnishes more than 1,000 people with crucial “legs” of that stool, and its reach is being felt, and recognized, right across the country.
As an entity that looks to share best practices and highlight recovery-oriented mental health work, the MHCC strives to shine a light on homegrown solutions to local challenges.
It takes a village to build the safety nets and resources that give people a chance to stretch their wings without fear of a crushing fall. Stella’s Circle is truly knitting together the city of St. John’s with threads of wisdom, respect, innovation and courage.
president and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada