#ConvoPlate initiative to spark on-going conversation about mental health

Burlington-based Paul Hansell Foundation launches formal awareness and fund raising campaign as part of Mental Health Week May 2-8

Burlington, Ontario — April 15, 2016 — In an effort to get people talking about mental health year round, The Paul Hansell Foundation is announcing the launch of a unique, grassroots initiative called #ConvoPlate.

As part of Mental Health Week, 30 new #ConvoPlate plates will be put in circulation on May 5th at a special student-written, produced and performed play entitled Beneath Our Skin to be performed at Assumption Catholic High School in Burlington. The play was written to shed light and awareness on difficult mental wellness issues faced by today’s high school students.

Each distinctive and individually numbered #ConvoPlate designed to inspire discussion about a different aspect of mental health. Individuals receiving a plate are asked to start a conversation about mental health, share that they are part of the conversation thread on social media (quoting the hashtag #ConvoPlate and plate number), consider a donation to an organization that advances mental wellness and pass the #ConvoPlate to someone else. The new lot of 30 #ConvoPlate plates were created by a team of students from Assumption Catholic High School and Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK).

The initiative started as a pilot project in December 2015 with the support of the Art Gallery of Burlington. At the Gallery, eight #ConvoPlate plates were created by the pottery staff and then passed along to others in the community.

“We initially set a goal of passing each #ConvoPlate to eight people and to raise $800,” says Brian Hansell, Founder of The Paul Hansell Foundation. “In fact we raised $3,000 in donations and achieved an average of five passes per #ConvoPlate. Our success motivated us to take our program to the next level so we can keep this conversation going 365 days a year around the world.”

The travel activity of the new #ConvoPlate plates will be tracked on the Paul Hansell Foundation website to allow supporters to follow their progress as each plate circulates raising awareness and money.

“Three of the 30 new #ConvoPlate plates will start their journey in the United States,” says Hansell. “We are hopeful that each plate will reach destinations in far reaching locations around the world. Mental health is without borders and we want the conversation to mirror that experience.” To purchase $5 tickets for the Beneath Our Skin play, get involved or learn more about the #ConvoPlate initiative, people can visit the Paul Hansell Foundation website. Event ticket info can be found here.

“One of our goals is for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to receive and share a plate,” says Hansell. “This exciting initiative has already sparked considerable interest from prominent local dignitaries and we are encouraged and thankful for all of the support.”

About The Paul Hansell Foundation

Brian Hansell founded the Paul Hansell Foundation after the tragic loss of his son, Paul, in December 2010.

The Paul Hansell Foundation’s mission is to promote programs aimed at the mental and emotional wellbeing of youths. Its vision is that mental health is a natural part of everyday conversation. Through education and awareness the foundation aims to break down barriers and establish a proactive and preventative dialogue that puts mental health on an equal footing with all other forms of health. The foundation operates inside of the Burlington Community Foundation.

Dave Bennett
Xposure PR
905 339 6668

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