The Essence Story

In 2009 Simone experienced a setback.After being a victim of systematic harassment and bullying that ultimately led her to being clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety,Simone became withdrawn from family and friends. At the time Simone did not understand her diagnosis until she felt and underwent the wrath of what depression and anxiety can do to one’s life. The experience led her to 3 years of battling, but through treatment and the will of God, Simone was able to recognize that she was meant for more and God’s plan for her is to share her story.

Her setback ultimately gave her her comeback. After completing treatment, Simone wanted to help others who may also experience a mental illness. She noticed the gap in the health system with long waiting lists, lack of services as well expensive fees to see treating physicians.

At first Simone mainly partnered with restaurants to help collaborate on a fundraising fashion show showcasing local artists in support of mental health but it was not obtaining the results she had hoped for. Brainstorming her ideas further, Simone was encouraged by one of her mentors to consider registering a charity to better help to enhance her vision.

 Experiencing such a setback that took a toll on her health allowed Simone to birth forth the charity Essence of Mind Outreach Program. The program’s goal is to be at the frontier in helping to end the stigma of mental illness in our communities and beyond. The venture targets individuals and families who are suffering from a mental illness and utilizes multiple platforms to reach these individuals by providing wellness activities, seminars, events, etc. 

Today the charity helps to connect individuals just like Simone get the essential help and support they so desperately need.

Who We Are

Essence of Mind Outreach Program is Registered Charity that is multi-facetted in its meaning. Along this path there are multiple stops and avenues for many to obtain treatment in regards to mental illness. Essence of Mind Outreach Program is a charity that provides families and individuals with essential support to getting treatment regarding a mental illness.

We meet a unique need for those who are suffering in silence with a mental illness by connecting our clients with care as well as potent information. We serve as a platform to available resources and events. We are a main point of contact for families and individuals seeking to get support but are limited to making that connected. We seek to help take these individuals from a very dark and low place to a place where they can feel loved and disown the darkness.

Stimulus Gala 2016

Essence Of Mind

An Outreach Program In Support Of Mental Health

BENEFITS TO OUR CLIENT

People are connected to various support systems. It is known that early access to treatment and support creates successful outcomes.  Here are a few benefits you can expect to experience:

  • Improved quality of life. Reduced symptoms you’re currently facing. Without depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological problems to weigh you down, you can live your life to the fullest.
  • Improved relationships in all aspects of your life. When the symptoms of the illness aren’t draining your strength, you’re better able to develop and maintain healthy relationships, and you’ll have more time for the people in your life as they also make time for you.
  • Reduced chance for complications. Many people with mental illness unfortunately also develop substance addictions, but getting mental health treatment first helps to diminishes that possibility.
  • Better performance at school or work. Improved concentration, enhanced creativity, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and better overall performance are all very real benefits of good mental health.
  • Reduced risk for other medical issues and concerns. Untreated mental illness contributes to physical problems like heart disease, ulcers, and colitis and also reduces the strength of your immune system. Getting treatment decreases your potential need for certain medical services.
  • Encouragement, Love and Support. This is your ultimate fuel to the path of recovery. Pairing this together with Individual therapy will enables you to understand yourself and your personal goals better. Also choosing to obtain Group therapy will help provide exposure to others with similar struggles, which can offer fresh perspectives on difficult problems.  All of this gives you needed strength for continued recovery.

What We Do

“Mental illness does not discriminate. It affects the young to the old. 1 in 5 Canadians will be affected by a mental illness in their lifetime. What can be done about this ? We need to have daily conversations. Talking helps to eliminate the shame and remove the stigma. Let’s help to end the stigma of mental illness.”

Core Programs/Services

1. Free 2 Talk-Hotline

2. Healing Rhythms Online Dance Class

3.R.I.S.E – Regain Inner Strength and Excel
A support group for men and women.

Become a Leader in the Mental Health Movement

OUR TEAM

“Essence of Mind is led by a group of volunteers who are passionate individuals dedicated to the support, education and treatment of mental health”

Simone Walsh

Executive Director, Founder/Creative Director

Multi-passionate Entrepreneur, Fashion Designer, Author and Community Activist, Simone Walsh is driven by a deep desire to transform the lives of individuals and provide the tools for them to uproot the blocks that are keeping them from living their best lives.

Sylvia Walsh

Executive Vice President

As the other half of Essence of Mind Outreach Program, Sylvia works hard to fight against the stigma of mental illness and raise awareness for the mental health community through her tireless efforts to ensure that individuals and families are given the support they need.

Selvin Williams

Chair of Board Of Directors, Sponsorship Director

Selvin is the Regional Facilities Manager within the Public Sector. His responsibilities include the management of people and resources to achieve his programs priorities.

Wayne McDonald

Planning/Events Committee

Wayne McDonald is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years experience in the automotive industry working in various capacities; Service Advisor, Customer Service Manager and Service Manager.

Lorna Hamilton

Planning / Events Committee

Lorna is a skilled  financial manager in the Corporate Sector, an effective team leader and coach with proven leadership in finance planning, strategic management, risk and compliance.

Our Partners

Lorna is a skilled  financial manager in the Corporate Sector, an effective team leader and coach with proven leadership in finance planning, strategic management, risk and compliance.

Lorna is not only passionate about Mental Health but aware of the need to provide support to the black community suffering through depression and mental illness. She is a self-starter with added capacity to partners with senior leadership and execute programs and strategic deliverables which she will incorporate within the Essence of Mind Outreach program. 

Debbie Opoku-Mulder holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. She is a registered psychotherapist, speaker and a mental health advocate.  Debbie is passionate about equipping individuals and groups with the tools and resources needed to educate and motive themselves to be innovative and creative. 
As a therapist for 13 years, Debbie works to erase the stigma associated with mental health and giving people the tools they need to share their story and recognize that they are not alone on this journey.  She hopes to add her expertise as a therapist with the Essence of Mind Free 2 Talk Mental Health Counselling line as well assist in planning and executing events. 

Wayne McDonald is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years experience in the automotive industry working in various capacities; Service Advisor, Customer Service Manager and Service Manager.

After leaving the automotive industry Wayne transitioned into his own business co-founding a consulting firm that developed various projects with a focus on new business development.

The importance of family and friends are not lost on Wayne as he knows the value of having a good support system to sustain you. He is an avid sports lover with a passion for playing golf.

Wayne achieves balance in his life by spending time giving back to his community. With a passion for helping others, he has taken his own personal experience to help bring about awareness to the area of Mental Health in hopes of helping to end the stigma.

Selvin is the Regional Facilities Manager within the Public Sector. His responsibilities include the management of people and resources to achieve his programs priorities. He also sits on the Board of Directors for an organization providing housing and support to those affected by addiction and mental illness. He brings excellent mentoring, business and project management skills to his role within Essence of mind Outreach Program. He is a strong believer in facilitating the human potential.

As the other half of Essence of Mind Outreach Program, Sylvia works hard to fight against the stigma of mental illness and raise awareness for the mental health community through her tireless efforts to ensure that individuals and families are given the support they need. Sylvia graduated with a Diploma in the Registered Practical Nursing program. She thrives on helping and assisting others reach their goals. She collaborated with Simone in bringing this organization to fulfillment because it is her desire to see help and attention be given towards such a delicate issue.

As the Vice President of this organization, Sylvia oversees plans and missions and represents the President in her absences. Besides this project, Sylvia is a volunteer with the Canadian Diabetes Association. She helps to educate others in many ways to monitor their health.

Multi-passionate Entrepreneur, Fashion Designer, Author and Community Activist, Simone Walsh is driven by a deep desire to transform the lives of individuals and provide the tools for them to uproot the blocks that are keeping them from living their best lives.

Creation is at the core of Simone’s transformative mission, as she believes in affecting other’s lives through multiple touch points. Graduating with a degree in fashion design, the talented creator launched her line Mo’knotic (meaning “having the power to attract”) in 2002 to help women reinvent themselves from the outside in. While helping to make women over on the surface, her mission is also to inspire others to make it through tough times that may make them feel like giving up. At a point in her life, Simone too wanted to give up after suffering through harassment and bullying. Drawing from her experiences, she turned to her pen to create a memoir of the trials & tribulations of her life. Publishing her first self-help book in 2016 entitled "Poetic Diary of a Bleeding Heart" Simone hopes this book will inspire others to never give up on themselves.

Certified in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) and Leveraging her diploma in Medical Administration, Simone strategically built Essence of Mind Outreach Program to focus on providing the tools and resources to individuals and families suffering from a mental illness.

Recognized for her strength to share her story on recovery, Simone was nominated as a finalist along with 25 other young woman on 29daysofhope.com. The post featured 25 women who are helping to give hope. The work of Essence of Mind outreach Program has been recognized by the House of Commons and a plaque was received from the MP of Brampton for the outstandingly good work the organization is doing. Simone also was recently notified as being the recipient of the “Woman of Courage” award from the IWAA. Her inspirational message and fashion designs have been featured in such outlets as Rogers Television, SNAP magazine and the Brampton Guardian newspaper.