Foundation to welcome Michael Landsberg to Sarnia

Bluewater Health Foundation, with the support of presenting sponsor NGL Supply Co. Ltd., is excited to welcome Michael Landsberg to Sarnia on October 12 and 13.

Landsberg, a mental health advocate and founder of the SickNotWeak initiative, will be speaking to youth in the community during the two-day visit to share his personal battle with depression, as well as the importance of being open about mental illness, reaching out for help when needed, and reducing stigma.

The Foundation is pleased to partner with local grassroots initiative Sarnia Speaks to bring Landsberg’s message of awareness and resiliency to students at local high schools and Lambton College over the course of the two-day visit as part of the ‘My Story’ series. Also planned is a visit at Bluewater Health’s mental health unit.

“It’s very important that the youth in our community hear and benefit from Mr. Landsberg’s powerful and important message, so these daytime events with students in our community provide a perfect opportunity for the Foundation and Sarnia Speaks to partner,” says Kathy Alexander, Executive Director, Bluewater Health Foundation. “Danielle Cooper is a member of the Foundation family and we are proud of all she does with us and her community initiative Sarnia Speaks. This initiative has started many conversations across our community and we want much needed conversations to take place when Michael is in town.”

Landsberg will also headline the Foundation’s annual fundraising gala as keynote speaker on October 12 at the Dante Club.

Since 2013, the Foundation’s annual gala has successfully raised over $220,000 for important initiatives and departments at Bluewater Health. This year, funds raised will support the Mental Health and Addictions Unit at Bluewater Health.

“Mental health and addictions issues continue to dominate local, national and international headlines, focusing on an increasing need for diagnosis, treatment options and community support,” says Paula Reaume-Zimmer, Bluewater Health Integrated Vice President, Mental Health & Addictions Services. “Although 20% of Canadians are living with mental illness, many do not seek help because they fear reaction from friends, family and co-workers. With treatment, people can and do recover from mental illness.”

Reaume-Zimmer adds, “Micheal’s story of battling depression and his initiative SickNotWeak brings much needed awareness to mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them. We are excited to welcome him to Bluewater Health and the Sarnia-Lambton community.”

One of the best-known personalities in Canadian broadcasting, Landsberg has been with TSN since the network’s inception in 1984. He hosted Off the Record from its debut in September 1997. Twice nominated for the Gemini Award for Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program or Sportscast, Landsberg was the Whistler Host for Olympic Daytime on CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, he anchored TSN’s Olympic Daytime.

Landsberg speaks publicly about his personal battle with depression and considers his ability to help reduce the stigma of mental illness as his most important professional calling. He has been an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk, an initiative focused on raising awareness and encouraging dialogue about mental health, since it launched in 2011.

In 2013, Landsberg’s documentary, Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me, was nominated for a 2013 Canadian Screen Award for Best History or Biography Documentary Program or Series. In 2012, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health also named Landsberg one of its Champions of Mental Health. Landsberg also takes to Twitter, using the hashtag #sicknotweak to encourage discussion around mental health and create a forum for those needing help. For his longstanding dedication to promoting mental health awareness, Landsberg was honoured with the Humanitarian Award at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards.

In addition to Landsberg’s keynote speech, the gala will include a five-course meal, live auction, and musical entertainment.

Tickets are $250 each and are on sale now at Bluewater Health Foundation in person or by calling 519-464-4408. Each ticket includes a charitable tax receipt for $100. Information regarding sponsorship opportunities is available by contacting Adelle Stewardson, Marketing and Fund Development Coordinator, at 519-464-4439 or [email protected].

See full event details