On May 5, 2015, Eli’s Place staged its public debut with a fundraising and awareness evening at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Following the sold-out, world premiere performance of Therefore Choose Life, Kathy Kacer and Jake Epstein’s heartbreaking look at love and loss, Eli’s Place Co-founders Deborah and David Cooper told the audience their own tale, the Eli’s Place story.
“Since our son Eli took his life almost five years ago, after a long struggle with depression and bi-polar disorder, we have learned much.
We have learned that one in five Canadians suffers from mental illness; more than a statistic, it’s someone you know. We have learned that up to 60% of young adults with bi-polar disorder will attempt suicide at least once in their lives and up to 19% will complete suicide, often more than a year following their first attempt.
And we have identified that, currently, there are no long-term, recovery-based programs in Canada to deal with young adults with serious mental illness.
We have discovered outstanding models of recovery throughout the world, and have visited three American centres, which produce positive outcome studies and measurable successes. Eli’s Place has the interest of two universities, and has received encouraging endorsement from dozens of well-respected mental health practitioners.
Our dedicated volunteer Board and Task Force are committed to helping us write the next chapter of our story; creating a more promising future for young adults 19 – 35 years of age struggling with serious mental illness.
But we need your help too. Help us find partners who will ensure that the next chapter of our story sees the successful establishment and flourishing of Eli’s Place.
Your ongoing support and advocacy will help us write the Eli’s Place story as one of hope and recovery, providing a safe and caring place for young adults with mental illness to find their path towards functional living.”
The Board of Eli’s Place extends sincere thanks to all those who made the evening such a success, starting with The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, The Canada Israel Tennis Centres, The Greenwin Theatre & Toronto Centre for the Arts, and Goodman Mintz LLP Chartered Accountants.
The evening was generously sponsored by Barbara and Lorne Bernstein and Anita and Norm Katzman. Michael J. Links and Associates sponsored the reception following the play, and Eli’s Place is most grateful.
(Photography courtesy of Elie Landesberg)