In 2019, mental health is more important to address than ever with the rise of anxiety and depression in our youth. At Ontario SEO, we believe that everyone has a right to mental health services regardless of age. With most mental illness starting before age 25, there is a massive need for more supports for our youth. When we were invited to sponsor the London Health Sciences Centre & Minds for Change through digital marketing services for their Charity Drag dinner at Brescia University College in support of FEMAP, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to support such a great cause.
A Charity Event for Mental Illness
FEMAP (First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program) is a program aimed at helping teens with their mood and anxiety symptoms. They give youth a safe place to get the services they need before symptoms get out of hand, and provide a variety of services such as therapy, medication and substance abuse treatments.
Currently, the wait list to see a counselor at FEMAP is extremely long, and youth who need the services aren’t being seen for up to 7 months. The goal of the event was to raise funds for FEMAP services and in turn source new counselors and psychologists to help youth as soon as possible.
Digital Marketing for Drag
Ontario SEO was brought on-board as a partner to provide digital marketing services the form of Facebook and Instagram ads to promote the event in support of FEMAP. The event featured a gourmet dinner and wine, a silent auction with donated goods and services, and a performance by Miss Conception – a Toronto Drag Queen famous for her fast costume changes.
With excitement building for the event, we hit the ground running with digital marketing targeted to those with interest in philanthropic and charitable interests and got the message to relevant audiences in the London community. Through integrated marketing efforts with Minds for Change, we were able to improve ticket sales and awareness for the event as well as the FEMAP program.
First Annual Minds for Change Charity Dinner
On the day of the event, we were in awe with the level of effort and care that went into making the event a huge success. From the draperies to the table dressings, everything had been carefully thought through.
We were astonished by the exclusivity of the silent auction items. There were art pieces, gift baskets, free memberships, and even a trip to Italy up for auction!
Miss Conception put on an amazing performance, changing costumes after every song. She brought us to different countries with her song choices and spared no enthusiasm. She had the whole room participating in her performance, dancing and singing along throughout the evening.
The London Fire Department and Lexus of London ensured that event attendees had a safe way to and from the event with their valet services. London Firefighters picked up guests and drove them back home in Lexus of London vehicles before and after the event.
During the event, we got to hear from one of FEMAP’s clients. During her heartfelt speech, she told us of her struggles and how she had exhausted every avenue before finally reaching out to FEMAP. We learned how FEMAP turned her situation around and helped her find healthy coping mechanisms and tactics to transform her life, all through the help of this amazing program.
Supporting London’s Youth
The event attendees were happy to extend a helping hand and a donation in support of the initiative. Next year, there will not be a shortage of volunteers and donations based on the success of Minds for Change’s first event. Overall, Minds for Change raised over $30,000 for FEMAP’s First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program, directly contributing to more resources for youth in need and shorter waiting lists of those who need mental health support.
The event was a huge success; however, it would not have been possible without the help of many local sponsors that came together in support of FEMAP. Lerners Law Firm, Fickling Wealth Management, Lexus of London, Virgin Radio and The London Fire Department all contributed greatly to the event and set the precedent for years to come.
Thank you, Minds for Change, London Health Sciences Center and FEMAP for an amazing evening of dancing, dinner, drinks and drag. We can’t wait until next year!