Darryl's story

“I’ve always believed that we all have the ability to be our own superheroes,” says Darryl. “I turned that into being your own light. And I feel we’re all able to do that best when we’re being ourselves.”

In any given year 1IN5

Canadians experience mental illness

Darryl had no previous fundraising experience but knew that he wanted to do something that would encourage others to feel more comfortable with being themselves and loving who they are. “When everything closed, including music venues, it shut down my main form of expression. That’s how this fundraiser started,” he adds.

Darryl has always advocated for mental health. At work, he often organizes his office’s Bell Let’s Talk Day events. That’s where he first heard a speech from Dr. Kamkar, clinical psychologist at CAMH, and was motivated to do something bigger.

“I wanted to organize something that would inspire anyone living with mental illness to feel comfortable being themselves and finding help. Everyone living with a mental illness has a story that is just as important as anyone else’s. Hopefully, they can find someone they trust who they feel comfortable to talk to.”

Darryl created a virtual concert called #BeTheLight where he and some of his other musically gifted friends performed to raise funds for CAMH and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP).

“I know I don’t know the perfect things to say, and this is a sensitive topic so it was helpful to have resources from CAMH to guide me,” states Darryl. “And, I feel that with music, you don’t have to be guarded. It’s a sincere outlet that connects us. It’s just somebody being themselves in that moment.”

Initially, Darryl had hoped to raise $2,000 for CAMH and CASP. However, thanks to generous supporters, he raised $2,250 a week early.

“I’m very excited and confident about organizing future fundraising concerts for mental health, and sharing my experiences,” asserts Darryl, who also had these words of encouragement for aspiring fundraisers like you:

Get Started Now

Whether it’s a run, walk, concert, or something you come up with yourself, starting your own fundraiser is easy and CAMH has all the tools to help you. You can also contact one of our dedicated community and workplace fundraising coaches for more information.

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