I never wanted to be part of a campaign like this.

Debbie & Mel’s Story

We had hopes and dreams for Shayne.
By Debbie Clench

I never wanted to be a part of a campaign like this.

Being featured on billboards with my husband holding a picture of our son is not what I imagined when I brought him home from the hospital a few days after he was born.

We had hopes and dreams for Shayne. He had hopes and dreams for himself.

Shayne cared for and loved both his family and his friends deeply. He was kind, caring, sensitive, shy, generous, compassionate, and fun-loving. He liked video games, hockey and research.

Now, with my husband Mel and our two daughters, we have become something we had never envisioned being: advocates.

Shayne died by suicide in 2014 after battling depression and anxiety. He was just 17 years old.

The grief was and is overwhelming and consuming. We focus on getting through the next minute, the next hour and make it to the next day. I could not imagine a future or a life without pain and grief.

Shayne’s story is about a preventable tragedy. His story highlights the gaps in the overall mental health system and society’s stigmatizing views on mental illness.

I want to see a shift in the way people think about mental health. I would like mental health to always be treated with dignity and respect. I would like those individuals who are suffering in silence to know that people care and they should reach out for help. Mental illness should be regarded and treated like any other physical illness.

My family is supporting this campaign and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) to create a brighter future for people living with complex mental illness. We want to ensure programs are funded so people can access the programs they need, when they need it.

By supporting Ontario Shores you are fostering hope for everyone impacted by mental illness. Society needs to care and help Save The Living by providing the opportunity for those struggling to live a long and meaningful life.

Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) Services at Ontario Shores

Transitioning into adulthood while suffering from a mental illness can be a very traumatic experience for many of our young patients. The TAY service at Ontario Shores consists of an inter-professional team who provides specialized services for our high-need transitional aged youth.

  • Individualized programming for youth ages 16 to 25.
  • Service designed for anxiety and mood disorders, traumatic stress and borderline personality disorder.
  • 50 minutes of individual therapy per week.
  • 2.15 hours of group based skills training per week.


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Ontario Shores
Centre for Mental Health Sciences
700 Gordon Street
Whitby, Ontario
L1N 5S9

Telephone: 905-430-4055
Toll Free: 1.800.341.6323

Centralized Referrals

Charitable Business Number

83555 9824 RR0001

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