New awards salute true achievement in mental health and recovery

The Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction presented its inaugural True Awards today to recognize exceptional service to the cause of reducing stigma and suffering for those with mental illness and addiction.

His Honour, Col, (Ret’d) the Honourable Donald S. Ethell presided over the awards ceremony at Government House in Edmonton. “These outstanding individuals and organizations are on the front lines serving people in need,” said Lieutenant Governor Ethell. “They are bringing hope, healing and compassion to people in our communities and they are fostering a more accepting society for the benefit of us all.”

Recipients of the 2012 True Awards are:

True Grit Award - Jamie Coutorielle (Edmonton): Jamie’s energy, optimism and spirit are inspirational. His journey to recovery followed a troubled childhood and problems with drugs and crime. At the age of 23, Jamie decided to change course, learned to deal with traumas of the past and became clean and sober. He also found a refuge in cycling. He’s now focused on encouraging others and recently undertook a cross-Canada cycling trip to promote recovery and healthy living.

True Compassion Award - Dr. Norman Costigan (Red Deer): Dr. Costigan is highly regarded for his exceptionally compassionate approach. Through his psychiatric practice, he promotes the mind-body connection and is continually conducting research in mental health and wellness. He initiated programs such as Mental Health Matters which provides mental health education to more than 1300 people each year and Tearing Away the Myths of Mental Illness, an educational video for young adults that was produced with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

True Leadership Award - the Mental Health Foundation (Edmonton): The Foundation offers a selection of programs that focus on education and encouraging people to talk about their experiences with mental illness and addiction. The Foundation focuses on at-risk youth, community wellness and stigma reduction through programs such as suicide prevention awareness, Mental Health Classrooms, the Challenge by Choice Centre and the Out of the Shadows Art Program.

True Service Award - Prosper Place Clubhouse (Edmonton): Prosper Place is a positive and enriching environment for people living with mental-health challenges. The clubhouse delivers meaning and direction for some of the community’s most vulnerable members. Based on a free membership clubhouse format, it provides a warm and accepting environment that offers supports such as socialization, life and vocational skill development, and encouragement to take part in employment programs.

True Imagination Award - iHuman Youth Society (Edmonton): iHuman uses innovation and creativity to help engage the imaginations of high risk youth and promote their reintegration into society through arts, crisis intervention and life skills training. iHuman provides weekly support and education for youth and also coordinates High Risk Youth Uncensored, a drama-based program that allows youth to develop and deliver curriculum to train social service providers and law enforcement.

Information about the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction, including True Award criteria is at



Media inquiries may be directed to:
Janet Resta
Communications Officer
Office of the Lieutenant Governor