TV Cogeco in Cornwall, Ontario is the recipient of this year’s CMHA Ontario provincial media award. Station personnel were on hand at CMHA Ontario’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto on Sept. 26, 2015 for the award presentation.
TV Cogeco staff – Calvin Killoran, Bill Makinson, Gabriel Riviere-Reid and Chris Rhode – were honoured for its commitment and work with CMHA Champlain East to raise awareness and understanding about mental health and mental illness.
The station and branch collaborated to produce a regular and ongoing series called Mental Health Matters. The impactful episodes ran three times a week for 40 weeks, reaching an estimated audience of more than 14,000 viewers.
“The content was truly compelling. Mental Health Matters was about real conversations with real people, organizations and experts in that community,” said CMHA Ontario Board Chair Michael Lewkin.
“We can safely say that the communities served by the station and CMHA Champlain East have been very well served,” he said.
The series ran from May to August 2015 and explored themes and issues that were relevant to people across many demographics, including children and youth, parents and seniors.
While all the shows were important, it was the 10th episode that was one of the most memorable.
Called “Stigma and Mental Illness,” it was one of the highest-rated and the station and branch received a large volume of calls, emails and feedback about it.
The strength of that episode was due to three very brave people.
These folks shared their personal journey in hopes of reducing the stigma of mental illness and encouraging others to reach out for help.
The CMHA Ontario media award recognizes the significant work of individuals or organizations that contribute to the coverage of mental health issues either locally or provincewide.