About the Mental Health Gala:
DIFD was founded in 2011 by friends and family of Daron Richardson, who died by suicide at the age of 14. With this initiative came a movement to encourage conversations and spread awareness about youth mental health.
The Royal is a specialized mental health centre which treats people with complex and serious mental illnesses across Eastern Ontario. It focuses on 14 areas of care including, but not limited to: anxiety, mood disorders, operational stress injuries & PTSD, recovery programs, schizophrenia, seniors, youth, women’s mental health, etc.
Together we can make a difference in our community and help end the stigma around mental health in Canada!
About the Organizer:
With a passion for philanthropy, Amy Caruso began The Mental Health Gala as a way of coping with her own personal struggles. Seeing friends and family around her dealing with all forms of mental illness pushed her to take this step in making a difference in the community.
In three short years, The Mental Health Gala has grown from a small friends and family event, to over 350 people at the latest gala in May 2019. This special awareness campaign has been surpassing expectations, and to date, has raised an overall total of $108,500.
Amy has been recognized by The Royal as a community leader, has attended their Inspiration Awards and their Leaders in Mental Health Breakfast, and has had the honour of meeting the Richardson’s (Daron’s parents) on many occasions. In 2019, Amy received multiple awards within the city for her charitable work, and was announced one of 40 key persons who have made a tremendous impact through leadership with the Royal Ottawa Foundation, helping to transform the landscape of mental health in our community.
Types of Mental Illnesses.
- Anxiety disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder)
- Mood disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)