Introduce yourself

My name is Marilyn Herbert.  I am a former teacher who currently reviews fiction for a number of groups. Reading is my special interest, as are my four grandchildren.

How did you become a Friend of Eli’s Place?

I became aware of Eli’s Place through my friend Arla Hamer and I also know Deborah and David Cooper.  Two of my children are involved professionally in the mental health field, which has raised my awareness of the issues in the field of mental health. As a result, contributing to Eli’s Place just seems like the right fit for me.  

My youngest daughter and son-in-law are both graduates of the U of T Masters of Social Work program. They have many years of direct involvement with mental health care in the hospital environment. 

An art therapist by training, my eldest daughter is currently the assistant director of educational programming for the Joe Torre Safe-at-Home Foundation in New York City which works with children and youth exposed to violence and trauma.  

Our family is acutely aware of the great need for mental health programs in our society.  I have known young people who needed therapeutic mental health treatment who have had to travel to the United States to find help because it’s not available in Ontario. My nephew has struggled with mental health issues; at 28 he is part of the demographic which often falls through the cracks in our current system.  

How have you been involved with Eli’s Place?

I am involved with Eli’s Place as a friend and donor.

What would you like to add to the conversation about mental health? 

Mental health needs to be looked at in a positive way. Mental health should be an achievable goal for everyone in much the same way as physical health is an achievable goal.  Because services tend to end at 18, young adults often struggle to find help. There can be too many steps in the process of procuring help – accessing support should be a smooth process from application, to help received, to outcome.  There should be a direct and consistent line allowing practitioners to see the whole person and the progress made. 

What does our tagline “Where Recovery Grows” mean to you?

Understanding the whole person is where the tagline fits in – Where Recovery Grows – is a positive and natural outcome for people in need of mental health services. Recovery is a long, slow process, and needs to be nurtured like a garden or like any human being.  Human development is a complicated process that needs support for successful and healthy growth.