Recently, a new award was established to honour the work of Linda Chamberlain, a mental health survivor who has contributed significantly to her community. She founded the Dream Team (a group of psychiatric patients who speak to social work and medical classes), and has won numerous awards.
Linda was also profiled in a report by the Metcalf Foundation that reviewed Ontario’s social programs. “The Linda Chamberlain rule” was dubbed by policy consultant John Stapleton as an example of the challenges that face social assistance recipients who try to be financially self-reliant and face monetary disincentives as a result of regulations.
Linda’s work will be commemorated with a plaque at CAMH, a feature documentary on her life, and a book. Her friends are also collecting money for an annual prize called the “Linda Chamberlain Pay It Forward” award. Starting in September, it will go to a poor survivor of mental illness and/or addiction who has “helped the world.” To contribute to the “Linda Chamberlain Pay It Forward” award, send money to the Bank of Montreal, account number: 2577-3979-573.
See, “Toronto’s Linda Chamberlain a hero to the down-and-out,” available at www.thestar.com.