A New Waterford woman is calling attention to the need for greater suicide prevention services in Cape Breton by raising funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In January 2021, Kelly DeGiobbi launched Games for Mental Health, an online block draw fundraiser in memory of her best friend’s son, Brady, 19, who died by suicide in November.
“He was such a great kid, and I know the last few years of his life was a real struggle,” Kelly recalled.
“We don’t really have a lot of services out here, and there’s so much more that can be done [to help people who are struggling], especially young people. After Brady, I just felt like I needed to do something.”
With Brady’s mother’s permission, Kelly created Games for Mental Health. She says the concept of the fundraiser is popular in her community, and is best described as “part lottery, part auction.”
“He was such a great kid, and I know the last few years of his life was a real struggle,”
To bid on items, which range from foot spas to candy baskets, donors purchase numbers for $2 to $10 each, out of a selection Kelly includes in her posts with the item. When the numbers are sold out, she does a live draw on Facebook and selects the winner.
Kelly is generously donating proceeds from the fundraiser the Canadian Mental Health Association – Nova Scotia Division in support of mental health programming for youth in Cape Breton.
Kelly said she chose CMHA as the recipient because she felt CMHA was in the best position to help the most amount of people.
To date, Games for Mental Health has 473 members, and the group is growing every day.
“The support of the community has been amazing. I’ve gotten a few donations directly from people who just wanted to donate, and I’ve had a few items donated to me to auction off, all of which are happily accepted and greatly appreciated.”
Kelly says she intends to continue to fundraise for CMHA –NS Division in Brady’s honour, as long as people continue to support her.
To make a donation in memory of Brady Marshe, visit Games for Mental Health on Facebook.
To learn more about suicide prevention resources in Nova Scotia, visit our CAST Hub at https://novascotia.cmha.ca/cast_resource_hub/
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line 1.833.456.4566 (Available 24/7 – toll free)