The Ontario Peer Development Initiative, a mental health consumer organization, has announced that nominations are open for its 2013 Lighthouse Awards. There are three individual and two organizational awards. The individual honours are open to people with lived experience of mental health conditions and are called the Unsung Hero Award, Peer of the Year Award, and the Pay it Forward Award. The organizational awards recognize and are called “Innovators” and “Community Builders.”
For eligibility criteria and nomination forms visit www.opdi.org.
The nomination form and accompanying documentation deadline is September 13, 2013.
Of particular note, the Pay it Forward Award is named in honour of Linda Chamberlain. This award will also include a small cash amount raised independently by friends of Linda who will also assist in award selection. The nominee must have publicly acknowledged having direct and personal lived experience of a mental illness and/or addiction. They should also indicate that they have overcome significant challenges or barriers, including poverty, and they have turned their life around. As the award’s name states, nominees should also show how they “paid it forward” by using their personal experience to advocate for change in systems or practices within Ontario.