A Letter From Our Board Chair: The Time is NOW

The time is now to meet the need. How can it not be? A proven-effective model of care exists. It has existed abroad for decades.

Dear Friends of Eli’s Place,

Canada’s mental health system is in a state of crisis. The urgency is most acute for the 165,000 young adults with serious mental illness in Ontario alone. While proven-effective, therapeutic rural residential programs for this vulnerable population exist in the United States and abroad, there are no programs available provincially or elsewhere in Canada.

At last mental health is on the lips of many. Covid has opened the Pandora’s Box of shame, blame and secrecy. With the need incessantly climbing, we have finally declared mental health to be the single most urgent health issue facing society post pandemic. I know, I see it in my practice on a daily basis.

The time is now to meet the need. How can it not be? A proven-effective model of care exists. It has existed abroad for decades. The time is now to build Eli’s Place based on a model of care with more than 100 years of successful outcome studies. Yes, there is urgency. “The time is now” is not an overstatement. Our young adults with serious mental illness, their families and our communities are counting on us to open our doors. 

My name is Carol Cowan-Levine and I have the privilege of being Board Chair for Eli’s Place, a robust and seasoned board with the diversity in expertise and ambition to make Eli’s Place a reality. Together we have built an effective foundation of good governance, we have articulated a theory of change based on a proven effective model of care, developed a strategic plan and are actively searching for a home. Supported by leading mental health professionals and young adults with lived experience on our advisory boards, we are ready

Eli’s Place has gained strength and resolve from a large and growing community of volunteers and supporters, like you. With your donation we can provide nurturing and proven treatment for our young adults with serious mental illness.  

As a Psychotherapist with over 40 years of experience, I have been dedicated to supporting those whose voices have not always been heard. I regularly endure the pain of knowing that a client will not receive the care they need. How can they? It does not exist here. When I view the mental health landscape through a professional lens I understand the urgent need for care. Tragically, I view the mental health landscape through a personal lens, too. A personal lens with a view that is shattering. It’s this deeply personal story I will share in my next letter. 

The timing is critical.  Based on the agonizing increase in numbers, the strains and demands on the system, and the many battles we have already lost, the time is now. Will you join us? 

Warm regards,

Carol Cowan-Levine

Eli’s Place Board Chair, Registered Psychotherapist and a passionate advocate for excellence in healthcare  
Founding President of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO)
Past Chair and Honorary Member of the Board at Women’s College Hospital
Past Chair and Member of the Advisory Board of the Child Development Institute
Chair of the Advisory Council of  Women’s College Hospital Foundation
Elected trustee of the Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital (Children) 

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