Imperial Makes Large Donation to ACCESS Open Minds

Bluewater Health Foundation is pleased to announce that Imperial Sarnia Manufacturing site has generously donated $50,000 to the new ACCESS Open Minds centre in Sarnia. 

Access Open Minds Sarnia-Lambton is a mental health and addictions youth space that has been developed as a go-to destination for youth 11 to 25 and their families who are seeking fast access to education, assessments, counselling and treatment. Many core services from SCCY, CMHA and BWH (e.g. crisis counselling, housing, case management, and psychiatry) will be co-located in this centre. This removes barriers to care, transforms the way service providers conduct their daily work and improves care through a coordinated approach. ACCESS Open Minds Sarnia-Lambton is based on international, national and provincial best practices and is heavily reliant on using youth to co-create the experience. 

ACCESS Open Minds Sarnia-Lambton will join the existing 14 sites across Canada. This will form part of Ontario’s Youth Wellness Hub Initiative 

Bluewater Health Foundation Executive Director, Kathy Alexander says the project is fortunate to have dedicated community partners so early on. “We’ve worked with Imperial on some past projects, and when we presented the company with the ACCESS Open Minds model, local officials immediately recognized the need for this service. We’re thrilled that Imperial has come out as the lead industry to support this project.” 

Imperial chemical plant manager, James Ritchie says the company is confident ACCESS will benefit the entire community. “Thanks to our relationship with Bluewater Health Foundation, we became aware of the concept of the ACCESS Open Minds centre several months ago. We recognize the importance of good mental health in our own workforce, and we’re pleased to play a role in addressing this critical need in the Sarnia area.” 

Philanthropic support is essential to the success of this very important project. “Sarnia’s ACCESS Open Minds is unique, in that we are rallying together in public and private partnerships to bring this model to our community without provincial funding for an Integrated Youth Service model, to date,” said Kathy. “The community has begun to step up in a huge way to support this new progressive site.” 

Along with Imperial’s impressive contribution today, the Mike Weir Foundation pledged to match donations up to $200,000 with “Mike’s Chip-in Challenge for Mental Health” in July 2019. To date, the Mike Weir Foundation has raised a total of $149,000! 

Mike Weir Foundation board member Jim Weir, says his brother Mike is thrilled with the community response to his “Chip-in Challenge for Mental Health” and is optimistic that they will soon reach their $200,000 matching goal. “Mike wanted to be a part of something that would benefit youth in the Sarnia-Lambton community and he knows that the ACCESS Open Minds initiative will make such a difference.” 

Tonight, Art Therapy 2.0 is hosting its own First Friday event at theStory (179 Christina Street, Sarnia) from 6pm to 10pm to raise funds for ACCESS Open Minds (Sarnia-Lambton). For event details please click here. 

How to Donate to ACCESS Open Minds? 

There are two easy ways to donate to the new centre. If you would like your funds matched by the Mike Weir Foundation go to You can also donate to the Bluewater Health Foundation at