For immediate release
June 22, 2009
Mississauga – Megan Lummiss, advocate for Talking About Mental Illness (T.A.M.I.), is the youngest and most recent winner of the prestigious Mary Neville Award. Presented annually by Peel Children’s Centre, the award recognizes a community member who has made an outstanding contribution towards prevention and early intervention in children’s mental health services.
Nominated by Bob Heeney, a Child and Youth Worker at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (formerly Whitby Mental Health Centre), Megan will receive the Mary Neville Award at the Annual General Meeting of Peel Children’s Centre, June 23, 2009, 7:00 p.m. at the Mississauga Convention Centre (northwest corner, Hurontario St/Derry Rd).
In his nomination remarks, Heeney said, “Megan has worked tirelessly for T.A.M.I. for five years. She is an active youth leader who is driven to prevent students from experiencing struggles similar to her own. Megan has spoken to over 7,000 students, telling personal stories of her rocky encounters with mental health issues. By visiting schools in the Greater Toronto Area, she aims to inform students about the prominence of mental health issues. She also wants to erase the stigma surrounding “mental illness”. Inspiring, strong, and empathetic, Megan is an accomplished young lady. I expect that she has a bright future ahead of her.”
In addition to passionately promoting children’s mental health and early intervention and prevention, Megan has contributed to various professional development workshops and has participated in TV interviews with Rogers Cable and Global TV’s “Into the Mind” series. Schools where she has spoken have seen an increase of 35% in student knowledge of mental illness and 12% in positive attitudes towards those who live with mental illness.
Humphrey Mitchell, Executive Director of Peel Children’s Centre, said, “Peel Children’s Centre is honoured to recognize visionary, accomplished leaders like Megan Lummiss who continue to advance the importance of prevention and early intervention as keys to achieving outcomes that enable children and youth to be happy, contributing members of society.”
Mitchell noted that Peel Children’s Centre established the Mary Neville Award 22 years ago to honour the efforts of the now late Mary Neville, former Prevention Coordinator at the Centre, who was also the first recipient of this annual award. “Mary was a forward-thinking and vocal champion whose mission has since been supported by the findings of scientists such as Dr. Fraser Mustard,” said Mitchell.
Peel Children’s Centre is a fully accredited, not-for-profit, charitable organization that has provided a range of high quality mental health services for children, youth and their families since 1985. The Centre serves 3,700 children/youth annually with a budget exceeding $19 million. Detailed information about the Centre and its services is available at www.peelcc.org.
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