Anne Purtill It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Our Harbour resident Anne Purtill. On behalf of the Our Harbour community, we extend our deepest condolences to her loving family. She will be sorely missed. Please see the Globe and Mail obituary for details:Audrey Anne Purtill, September 16, 1952 – September 16, 2016
Montreal Walks for Mental Health: October 4, 2015
All smiles: the Our Harbour Team in Phillips Square, gearing up for the walk.
The Montreal Gazette featured the event: Faces of Mental Illness encourage those who need help to open up
Susan Schwartz, Montreal Gazette, October 4, 2015
Trip to Saint-Jean for the Hot-air Balloons
Our Annual Family BBQ
Our Harbour Annual General Meeting
Our Harbour Hosted Lundbeck Defeat Depression Walk for Montreal
On a fresh May morning, about 50 Our Harbour residents, staff, volunteers and supporters cheerily walked together to raise awareness of the challenges of depression in our society. Banners held high, we toured Seaway Park and environs with a message of hope. This walk was the Montreal area portion of a cross-country Defeat Depression campaign promoted by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.
We salute the program, the participants and the donors who supported the walk. Some generous supporters could only be there in spirit.
Our Harbour residents and volunteers particpated with Centragens for a Cabane à sucre outing.
Three residents’ birthdays were celebrated at Vichy’s on March 30th.
Volunteers from the two woman’s apartments have organized breakfasts with their respective residents.
Dr. Alan Fielding presented his Introduction to Mental Illness talk to a rapt audience of Our Harbour volunteers, residents, board members and others on March 25th, 2015. Our Harbour’s Coordinator, Perveen Khokhar, introduced him as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, holding the positions of Associate Director of the Psychiatry Outpatient Department of the McGill University Health Centre and Director of the Day Hospital.
Dr. Fielding launched his talk by referring to the wide-spread built-in prejudice against people with mental illness, or even against discussion of the topic. He tried to put mental illness in context: it affects 1 in 5 Canadians and accounts for 4 of the top 10 causes of disability worldwide. While genetics, environment and street drugs are know to play a role in mental illness, Dr. Fielding indicated that the real causes of mental illness have been hard to determine. He spent much of his talk on the types of mental illness most likely to be affecting Our Harbour residents: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
Dr. Fielding listed difficulties faced by people living with mental illness:
- social isolation
- illness burden
- medical side effects.
These are just the issues that the Our Harbour model is designed to tackle.
Several Our Harbour residents provided valuable personal stories about the difficulties they have faced.
When he discussed the key elements in recovery from the worst ravages of mental illness, Dr. Fielding’s whole list rang true for the Our Harbour audience:
- secure base
- supportive relationships
- empowerment and inclusion
- coping strategies & illness management
- sense of meaning in life
These are the tangible and intangible things our volunteers and staff provide. These are the elements of change for the good for troubled individuals who come into our sphere.
Needless to say, the talk was a great success, followed by an active question period. Our Harbour’s Chairman Catherine Gillbert thanked Dr. Fielding profusely, acknowledging as she did the supportive tenor of his comments.
Kudos to Assistant Coordinator Jennifer Gilkes for organizing this talk.
Spaghetti Supper: Colette Plouffe directed Our Harbour’s second annual Spaghetti Supper fundraiser to a rousing success. The companionable overflow crowds at Scotyz shared stories, drink and food while making new connections, all in a good cause.
CTV News Feature
Our Harbour’s Catherine and Teresa starred in a Montreal CTV News feature on January 29th, 2015.
Bravo Catherine and Teresa!
The Our Harbour community came together again for its classic Christmas Party on December 3rd.
The Our Harbour contingent joined this regional awareness campaign on October 5 at 11 AM in Phillips Square for the annual walk.
- Create awareness about mental illness
- Reduce its stigma
- Raise funds
Contributions to support the walk can be made though our Contact Us page.
Our Harbour hosted Kafka’s Ape, October 23, 24, and 25 at the Centre Multifonctionelle in Saint Lambert, 81 Hooper.
Under sunny skies, the Our Harbour community came together again at The Annual Our Harbour BBQ, July 19, 2014. Residents, staff, family, volunteers, Board members and fellow travellers joined together to play engaging games, eat lovingly prepared food and celebrate our good fortune. One of the games was particularly relevant: mixed teams cooperated to build protective structures out of paper, tape and popsicle sticks. The goal: keep a fragile egg whole even while it is being tossed from person to person, place to place. Some tosses were less than gentle. Some constructions worked better than others!
Intensity, hilarity and cooperation show up in these glimpses of the Egg Game:
At Our Harbour, we believe our team provides particularly effective support for the more fragile among us. In short: we’re good eggs.
On July 17th, after spending nearly two months at Our Harbour under Perveen and Jenn’s expert guidance, Alice Boom and Mélyssa Lorrain, our delightful summer stagiers, summarized their experiences through a well-conceived presentation to an audience from both Our Harbour and McGill University. Their time with us forms part of the practical side of their Masters program in occupational therapy. In their slideshow, they delved into Our Harbour’s operation, noting its many contributions to the welfare of the residents and to the broader community while indicating a few areas which could use some improvement. By sharing their take on Our Harbour as seen through the OT lens, they helped us see ourselves in a new light.
Alice and Mélyssa also left behind a tangible legacy: they have produced an Activity Booklet designed to help residents improve their quality of life and control over their mental health issues. In a bright, accessible style, they help residents and volunteers alike explore the many resources available on the South Shore. They also provide tips for living life more fully. Each resident has received a copy, and others are available through the Our Harbour office and online. The open format encourages ongoing additions and replacements, so the Booklet becomes a permanent part of Our Harbour. Many thanks, Mélyssa and Alice.
10th Anniversary Celebration and Annual General Meeting: Our Harbour celebrated 10 years of successful operation by holding a warm and wonderful 5 à 7 at the Saint Lambert Curling Club on June 16th, before convening our Annual General Meeting.
Brian Morel captured some of the goings-on at the celebration and AGM: