KHSC auction highlights mental illness stigma initiative

In a bid to stand up to the stigma surrounding mental illness and addictions, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has launched an online auction to raise funds that will help boost awareness about the impact stigma can have on the lives of those living with mental illness.  

Supported by the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, KHSC said that the Stand Up to Stigma auction has now opened bidding on a remarkable selection of items generously donated by local businesses, including everything from spa gift certificates and weekend getaway packages to a personal portrait session. According to KHSC, themed items will be popping up for March Break, Easter and Mother’s Day.

KHSC and UHKF invite area residents to ‘make a bid’ to ‘Stand Up to Stigma’ in their current online auction, which will raise funds for mental health and addictions awareness opportunities at local hospitals and health-care facilities. A small number of the items up for bids include: (top row; L to R) A stay and dine package at The Secret Garden Inn (donated by The Secret Garden Inn. Retail value: $490), a tattoo gift certificate with Cynthia Deveau of Ottawa’s The Ink Spot (retail value: $200), a gift certificate to Spearhead Brewery (retail value: $30), a Satin Hands package by Mary Kay (donated by Karen Cornish. Retail value: $55), a manicure from U Nails & Spa (retail value: $25), a one-hour Pole Party (six to 10 people) from Pole Fitness Kingston (retail value: $260), a gift certificate to Red Lobster (retail value: $30), a hair care package from Foiled Again Hair Salon (retail value: $120), and a two-bottle wine package (donated by Three Dog Winery. Retail Value: $40). All photos via the KHSC Stand Up to Stigma Auction.

KHSC said that funds from the auction will support stigma awareness opportunities, such as a series of lunchtime webinars and prominently featured speakers, that are part of the organization’s Stand Up to Stigma—Let’s Talk Mental Health initiative.

“We welcome the community’s support of our auction,” said Nicholas Axas, program operational director for Mental Health and Addiction Care with KHSC. “It’s a silent event, but the funds raised will help us to hear all kinds of voices as we work to normalize conversations about mental illness and addictions. That’s how we create greater compassion and understanding about mental illness in our homes, workplaces and community.”

To make a bid in the Stand Up to Stigma online auction, visit

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