Building on the success of a series of the star-studded events held in Victoria that raised over $3 million in 2003, 2004 and 2011, brothers Geoff, Russ, and Bruce Courtnall are once again mobilizing their efforts to support mental health.
Today marks the formal launch of the Courtnall Society for Mental Health (CSMH), a fundraising organization that will provide grants to support the capacities of grassroots mental health organizations – not only in their hometown of Victoria – but across the country.
“This is a great day for us to realize something that has been in the works for a few years,” said Geoff Courtnall. “Our past events made it possible to leave a legacy for our dad with the naming of the Archie Courtnall Centre at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital, as well as providing equipment for the Patient Care Centre.”
Motivated in part by their personal experience, the Courtnall‘s know firsthand the impact of the toll of mental health struggles all too well. It was in 1978 when, after a long, difficult battle with depression, the family lost their dad Archie to suicide. Moving forward, the focus of CSMH’s fundraising efforts will be to provide grants to grassroots organizations doing vital work through programs and initiatives that support individuals with mental health challenges.
“The Courtnall Society for Mental Health is not a service provider,” said Shannon Drew, CSMH Executive Director. “We want to help support the dedicated organizations working in our communities so that they can focus on what matters most – the mental health services they provide to the people in need.”
“With grants, made possible through our fundraising efforts, partners and donors,” says Bruce Courtnall. “We look to strengthen the community organizations that are often the first point of contact for those reaching out for help.”
The Courtnall Society for Mental Health has identified four pillars that they will use to guide their grants: Children & Youth, Suicide Prevention, Substance Use and Community Integration.
Despite living in different cities – Geoff lives in Vancouver, Bruce in Victoria and Russ is in Los Angeles – the Courtnall brothers are all on the same page about their intentions to help. Mental health struggles like severe anxiety and depression, overdose and suicides are more prevalent than ever as we continue to navigate the on-going pandemic.
“Mental health involves how we think, feel, act and interact with others,” said Russ Courtnall. “It’s important at every life stage, from childhood through to adulthood – and everyone deserves support and an opportunity to feel their best.”