Trigger Warning: The content below contains information on mental illness and suicide which some readers may find triggering. If you need support, please contact the Ontario Shores crisis line: 1-800-263-2679.
Sharing my son’s story: Louri’s Story
Louri lost her son Mark to suicide in May of 2019.
Diagnosed with anxiety the year before, Mark was already overwhelmed. Then he lost his home to a fire, and his symptoms worsened.
Devastated by the loss, Louri and her family decided they wanted to ensure others knew just how pervasive mental illness is. They wanted to share Mark’s story.
The father of two was passionate about baseball, so Louri’s family founded Baseball for Dad in his memory. They place gloves in different parts of the world, aiming to raise mental health awareness and “knock stigma out of the park”. They encourage those who find the gloves (and an accompanying card explaining their meaning) to share on social media.
Additionally, the family has placed “Buddy Benches” throughout their city, designed to promote kindness and inclusivity. Painted red and adorned with bats, a ball, a deer, and a bear, the benches are intended to spark conversation around mental health.
“There is power in conversation,” Louri says. “We will continue to fight the stigma so more voices can be heard.”
A developmental service worker, Louri knows some days are harder than others. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted many people’s routines. She continues to strive to do promote mental health and wellness for all – and believes Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences is a wonderful place for people to reach healing and recovery.
Your donation to Ontario Shores today will help more people like Mark get the mental health care they need – so families like Louri’s don’t have to experience unfathomable loss. Every person in our province deserves the opportunity to find a road to recovery, and your generosity can make that possible.