Clarity – It is the tagline Jerry’s son Eric used to spray paint throughout the city of Kitchener. Jerry said his son wanted things to be clear in his mind and in his life.
For the past five years, Jerry, his wife Anja and their kids Alexandra and Christopher have honoured Eric with a memorial – people gather and light lanterns as a way to remember Eric. Jerry says more and more people come out each year and it is a chance to raise awareness about mental illness and funds. Last year, Jerry collected money from t-shirt sales with the tag ‘Clarity’ pictured exactly how Eric used to spray paint it. When Jerry was deciding where the funds should go he thought of Paul, his son’s Early Psychosis Intervention Clinician with the First Step team at CMHA WW. Jerry said his son always had positive things to say about Paul, “he (Eric) would be rushing around the house saying I have to get ready Paul is picking me up to take me to work.” Jerry wanted to ensure the funds raised would go directly towards helping people. The donation made by Jerry and his friends and family will go towards helping young men similar to Eric in the First Step program at CMHA WW. Paul noted that, “the courage, kindness and devotion to friends and family that Eric possessed despite struggling with profound mental health issues really shone through during my time working with him.” The First Step team is looking into putting the money toward football and other athletic pursuits as part of their program. Eric was a high school quarterback and really well regarded by the local football community.
Click here to visit the 1st Step website and learn more about the program.
Referrals are welcome from anyone, including families, doctors and community partners. To learn more about the 1st Step program click on our brochure. To make a referral, please call:
1-844-CMHA WW3 (#s 264-2993) ext. 2040
Learn more about psychosis through these great resources:
Click here to learn how you can give to CMHA WW. Your gift will help CMHA WW assist people experiencing mental health, addictions, and developmental issues, including their families and caregivers, to access information and support as soon as they need it. Please donate today.