Your help ending attacks on people living with mental illness
Parkdale is one of the most accepting places anywhere in Canada for persons living with mental illness. It is home to many innovative people and programs which work hard to ensure people have genuine respect and dignity in their lives.
As you may have seen in the media, there has recently been a series of sickening attacks on people living with mental illness in the area that stand completely outside of the general attitude in our community. Yesterday, George Wass, one of those attacked, died and it is being determined whether it was the result of his injuries of a few days earlier.
I am writing to you for three reasons.
The first is that the police at 11 Division are appealing for help. If you have seen or heard anything that might be related to these events you please contact the investigating officer Detective John Thibodeau directly at (416)808-1136 or at 11 Division’s general number (416) 808-1100. Anyone with information can also anonymously contact CrimeStoppers at 416-322-TIPS (8477).
Secondly, for local residents (only) there will be a public meeting Wednesday, March 23 at 1:30 pm, hosted by the Community Crisis Response Network at the Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre (PARC) at 1499 Queen Street West to discuss the attacks.
Finally, this sad occurrence makes it even more important that we convey support to our friends and neighbours living with mental illness. Currently I am working with the community to make the riding of Parkdale-High Park Canada’s first “mental health stigma free zone”. I hope you will consider taking the acceptance pledge at the core of that program. It can be read here:
Please circulate this appeal to anyone else in the area you think may be interested. Let’s work together to not only ensure the safety of all our residents but counter violence the only way it can be: with firm, unwavering community resolve.
Gerard Kennedy [firstname.lastname@example.org]
March 26th update
Recently I sent you a message about the recent attacks on people living with mental illness in our community in PHP. I have been very impressed by the positive and determined reactions. In addition, an area resident has come up with a tremendously effective video that I want to share with you. Please watch it and share it with your own networks.
Thanks for your help in helping keep our community safe for everyone in it.
Gerard Kennedy, MP