Mike Weir Hosts Hometown Tournament for Youth in Need

Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 3:24pm

New mental health and addictions centre for transitional age youth

 Supported by Mike Weir Foundation

SARNIA, ON – September 19, 2019Today, Mike Weir is hosting a sold out golf tournament in support of a youth mental health and addictions centre for Sarnia Lambton. Today’s event underscores the commitment the Mike Weir Foundation recently made towards the creation of a youth centre – called ACCESS Open Minds – in Sarnia.

“I am happy to see everyone at today’s event - by being here we have an opportunity to make a signification change in the way that local youth get care. These are our most vulnerable members of the community who are often faced with some of life’s most difficult and stressful events – and I’m thrilled that the Mike Weir Foundation is able to help those needing mental health care,” continued Weir. “I have thought a long time about how I can help in my hometown, and this opportunity just seemed to feel right to me, my family, and the Weir Foundation. It’s a partnership, it has a proven success record and it focuses on youth. We knew right away we were in.”

The Event

The inaugural Mike Weir Par 3 Challenge, at Huron Oaks, is a sold out event.  108 guests will join the 8-time PGA winner Masters Champion play 18 holes as Par 3’s with threesomes. The event features a number of festivities, including food stations, live and silent auctions and prizes.  Proceeds from this event will benefit ACCESS Open Minds in Sarnia.

Access Open Minds

The ACCESS Open Minds model of care comes out of an Australian initiative called Headspace. There are over 100 “headspaces” across Australia and the first ten similar sites have been launched in Ontario just this past year. This community-based, collaborative model completely revamps how existing services are delivered in Sarnia-Lambton, resulting in improved access and engagement for youth and families seeking mental health and addictions care. Bluewater Health, the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent and St. Clair Child and Youth Services, are committed to the design and implementation of an ACCESS Open Minds Centre for Sarnia-Lambton. Bluewater Health Foundation, together with the leadership of the Mike Weir Foundation, is working with generous donors and sponsors, to raise the funds needed to open the centre. Philanthropic support is essential to the success of this very important project.

More than 75 per cent of mental health issues develop before a person turns 25, and yet, many traditional services aren’t equipped to address the unique barriers that young people face to accessing mental health support. A Sarnia-Lambton ACCESS Centre will address this critical gap, by providing tailored and holistic mental health and addiction support to 11 - 25 year olds. With a focus on early intervention, the Centre will work with young people to provide support at a crucial time in their lives – to help get them back on track and strengthen their ability to manage their mental health in the future. This is a unique opportunity to change how our youth’s generation associate mental health care as a mainstream health resource, reducing the potential long term impact that mental illness can have, if gone undetected.  A Sarnia-Lambton ACCESS Centre will be designed not just for youth in our community but with them, to ensure their needs are met, their voices are heard and that the hub reflects the needs of our community.

“Bluewater Health provides inpatient psychiatric care for child and adolescents. We know, with our partners, there are gaps for successful transition back into the community,” commented Paula Reaume-Zimmer, Integrated Vice President for Mental Health and Addictions for Bluewater Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association.  “This new model will engage youth and families, bringing community partners together, working in an innovative new way to reduce the frustration of having to search various services often resulting in an unnecessary emergency department visit, which many youth report as the only alternative they’ve had available.”

The Mike Weir Foundation

The Mike Weir Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children since 2004 and has raised over $7 million for numerous local and national children’s charities across Canada. The first donation of the Mike Weir Foundation was to Bluewater Health Foundation in 2004, for $75,000. The Mike Weir Foundation has already committed to match all donations up to a total of $200,000 in Mike’s Chip-In Challenge for Mental Health.  Please visit MikeWeir.com to make a donation.

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Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

For more information, media may contact:

Mike Weir Foundation
Jim Weir
519-384-0833

Bluewater Health
Julia Oosterman - Chief, Communications & Public Affairs
519-328-3136

Bluewater Health Foundation
Kathy Alexander – Executive Director
519-464-4438

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