Helping Hands Awards

The HELPING HANDS of HOPE Award is presented to an individual or organization that fosters hope in the mental health community. This award is bestowed upon the recipient who shows leadership in education and recovery from a mood disorder. The recipient will have shown motivation to educate and inspire others while contributing to the hope of recovery for others with the disease.

The HELPING HANDS of HEART Award is presented to an individual or organization that has played a significant role in the support of recovery in the community.  This award is bestowed upon a recipient who has demonstrated leadership in advocacy and/or public awareness in mental health.  The recipient will have been steadfastly committed in the service to mental health awareness, going above and beyond to promote respect, reduce stigma and support those living with mental illness.

The HELPING HANDS of HEALTH Award is presented to an individual or organization that promotes and/or works in treatment, research, diagnosis and recovery in the mental health fields.  This award is bestowed upon a recipient who has supported the recovery of those with lived experience.  It recognises and showcases the significant efforts of physicians, clinicians and managers in improving the quality and safety of mental health patient care and to encourage innovation and improved practice.

2019 Helping Hands Award Recipients


2019 Recipient Tina Holland had a successful 29-year carrier in Real Estate. Tina began her second career as a peer support worker and educator in the mental health field for Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. She presented over 120 workshops, a Cognitive Behaviour course and many workshops addressing recovery, mental illness and addictions.

2019 Dr. Mandana Modirrousta completed her medical school in Tehran, Iran, PhD in neuroscience from McGill University, psychiatry residency at the University of Manitoba and a fellowship in clinical neuropsychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Modirrousta has initiated ground breaking work through repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation by offering an important alternative therapy to those with depression.

2019 Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is one of Canada’s most inspirational leaders, a best-selling author, a child and mental health advocate and a highly recognizable and beloved athlete.Silken’s Olympic story is legendary and inspirational. As reigning world champion, Silken fought back from a devastating rowing accident, to win a bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Silken is authentic and honest about her life journey. 

Past Helping Hands Award Recipients

HELPING HANDS of HOPE Award Recipients

2010 Recipient Springfield Collegiate was recognized for their work in producing an educational video on teen depression and prevention of youth suicide. This video has been used in schools by MDAM to draw public awareness throughout Manitoba.

2011 Recipient “Amying for a Cureand the hockey players, coaches and family members who make up this organization were recognized for their work in bringing awareness for mood disorders, eating disorders and the prevention of youth suicide.

2012 Recipient Taylor Demetrioff and his band, Waterfront Drive, founded the weekly youth self-help groups as well as “LET IT OUT!” Rock Band Camp where young people can emulate Taylor's success in coping with mood disorders.  His contribution of bringing music, camaraderie and peer support have helped form stepping stones to youth recovery for many.

2013 Recipient Robb Nash has become nationally known for leaving a successful music career in order to share his story of near-death and inspire young people from coast to coast. He founded the band Live On Arrival to share his philosophy through the medium of music, and soon the band had 2 songs in the Canadian Top 10. Robb saw musical success as a platform from which to influence young people. In just three years, Robb made his presentation to over 800,000 students.

2014 Recipient Dr. Cindy Lee Dennis is Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Community Health, University of Toronto, as well as Shirley Brown Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research, Women’s College Research Institute, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications on maternal and infant health outcomes, including the prevention, detection and treatment of Postpartum Depression.

2015 Recipient Chris Burns In the documentary Out of the Blue, Chris Burns raises public awareness towards mental illness in sport. A former goaltender for the University of Denver and former draft pick of the San Jose Sharks, Burns tells his story of how his hockey career was taken away in one minute by an attack. Chris Burns is an inspirational to all as he gives hope after a twelve year battle with depression.

2016 Recipient George Belanger, with his band Harlequin, has shared the stage with about everyone from April Wine to Led Zeppelin. George has been an inspiration to others through his own personal story of meeting challenges. He has been there for many, providing support to those living with depression and addictions.

2017 Recipient John Melnick brings greater public awareness to mental illness as an advocate, educator and speaker. Mr. Melnick graduated from the University of Manitoba, B Comm (Hons). He spent 30 Years in the Financial Services industry. Mr. Melnick is a Distinguished Toastmaster and is currently President of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg West.

2018 Recipient Bev Harvey is a Bright Star-Medicine Cloud Woman. Her Christian/white name is Elaine (Beverly) Dreaver-Harvey. She is a recovering drug and alcohol addict. Bev along with her parents and grandparents are residential school survivors. A graduate of Assiniboine Community College Mature Diploma program, Bev volunteers at the local food bank and for the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. In addition, she does contract work for Mountain View School Division. She works for the Dauphin Friendship Centre as an Elder/Cultural Advisor.

HELPING HANDS of HEALTH Award Recipients

2010 Recipient Dr. Glen Lowther was recognized for his efforts in treating depression and bipolar disorder in his practice and in various hospitals.

2011 Recipient Dr. Patricia Wightman was recognized for her longstanding service in the psychiatric field.

2012 Recipient Dr. Keith Hildahl was recognized for his contribution in the field of psychiatry, specifically with youth.  Through his positions as CEO Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre and Medical Director of the Child/Adolescent Mental Health Program, WRHA, he is an ardent supporter and innovator in the field of mental health.

2013 Recipient Sandy McLandress’ stellar career in the field of mental health was dedicated to innovative collaboration with all levels of Professionals to provide the highest level of patient care. Her profound compassion and tireless advocacy seamlessly acknowledged the needs of the individual, empowered their families, and ignited awareness in the community at large.

2014 Recipient Dr. Francis Newman, esteemed psychiatrist who’s compassion and dedication to treatment, recovery, and prevention of mental illness has been highly valued by his patients and colleagues at Grace Hospital.

2015 Recipient Dr. Randy Goossenbrings compassion and dedication to treatment, recovery, and prevention of mental illness which has been highly valued by his patients and colleagues. Dr. Goossen is the Medical Director for Community Mental Health. He has been the leader in shared mental health care, developing five access centres for mental health and the Medical Program Director for the Program of Assertive Treatment. He is not afraid to address tough issues.

2016 Recipient Dr. Rayleen V. De Luca was the first woman to be director of clinical training as a Professor in the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba. She has devoted her life’s works to children and families in the area of child abuse and family violence. Her research on childhood trauma is significant. Rayleen helps countless individuals in her private therapy practice. She embodies hope, change for the better and recovery.

2017 Dr. Jitender Sareen, Dr. Tanya Sala, Jacquelyne Wong, Dr. Debbie Whitney and Dr. Jolene Kinley. They implemented a CBT course in partnership with several clinics and self-help organization across Manitoba. They reduced wait times, and enhanced opportunities for self-management, especially to vulnerable groups with limited access to services. This innovative strategy increased ability to reach others through large classes without increasing the need for resources. The collaboration has had a profound effect in reaching individuals with mental illness on a timely basis and giving them specific tools and skills to add to their recovery journey.

2018 Margo Lane, MD, FRCPC, has been practicing at the Health Science Centre, Children’s Hospital and in the community for close to 20 years in adolescent medicine and general pediatrics. She is currently chair of the Adolescent Health Committee, Canadian Pediatric Society. She takes particular satisfaction in caring for vulnerable teens including those who live in the care of Child and Family Services and those who have mental health challenges.

HELPING HANDS of HEART Award Recipients

2010 Recipient Kerry and Ginny Dennehy were recognized for their work through the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation (created in 2001) in the prevention of depression and suicide in young people.

2011 Recipient Big Daddy Tazz was recognized for his work through comedy in removing the stigma associated with mental illness.  Tazz’s comedy night recently celebrated its tenth year and continues to help bring awareness to Mood Disorder Association and all that MDAM does for the community.

2012 Recipient Craig Heisingeris the Assistant GM and Director of Hockey Operations for the Winnipeg Jets, the Senior VP of True North Sports and Entertainment and GM of the St. John's Ice Caps.  Craig shows unfailing true support to those who live with depression.  Zinger was awarded the Helping Hands Heart Award for his demonstration of the MDAM belief of the importance of having someone who cares.

2013 Recipient Lieutenant General the Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, O.C., C.M.M., G.O.Q, M.S.C., C.D., (Retired), Senator has had a distinguished career in the Canadian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-General and Assistant Deputy Minister of Human Resources. In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) for which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross.  His experiences there became the subject of the book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, which was awarded the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004 and was the basis of a full-length feature film released in 2007.  In the Fall of 2010 he published They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, condemning the exploitation of children as child soldiers. Medically released in 2000 due to PTSD, Senator Dallaire has worked as an author, lecturer and humanitarian having conducted research on conflict resolution and child soldiers at the Kennedy School at Harvard.  He is currently pursuing his research on child soldiers. He holds honorary doctorates and fellowships from over two dozen universities in Canada and the United States. General Dallaire participated in the reform of the support to the new generation of veterans particularly affected by operational stress injuries (PTSD). General Dallaire was appointed to the Senate, effective March 24, 2005 and is the Vice-Chair of the Senate Security and Defence Committee.  He was appointed with Bishop Desmond Tutu to the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention in the spring of 2006 and is a Fellow at the Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies Concordia.  He is an Officer in the Order of Canada since 2002, a recipient of the Pearson Peace Medal in 2005, a Grand Officer of the Order of Quebec in 2006.

2014 Award Recipient Honourable Judge John P. Guy is the first judge to preside over the Manitoba Mental Health Court.  Working with a mental health team, Justice Guy has been instrumental in bringing treatment, care and support to those living with mental illness and assisting them on their road to recovery. 

2015 Recipient MiriamToews is a national writer and Governor-General’s fiction award recipient. Some of her themes focus on small town Manitoba, mental illness and suicide.  She is the author of Swing Low: A Life, A Complicated Kindness, The Flying Troutsman, Irma Voth and All My Puny Sorrows.  Miriam illustrates a human element in her writing which is thought provoking.

2016 Recipient Stephane Grenier is the President and founder of the Peer Support Accreditation and Certification for Canada. He has been the project team leader for the peer support project for the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Stephane served as the Operational Stress Leader for the Department of National Defense. He is acknowledged as a leader in peer support across Canada. Stephane demonstrates the way for people with lived experience, to help others in their recovery.

2018 Mary Ann Baynton, MSW, RSW, is a chair of the technical committee which developed the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Mary Ann operates her own consulting business and serves as the Program Director for the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (the Centre). Mary Ann is the author of several books related to workplace mental health and her latest, The Evolution of Workplace Mental Health in Canada: Toward a standard for psychological health and safety was co-authored with Leanne Fournier.