The donor: Corey Dixon

The gift: Raising $1,000 and climbing

The cause: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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Corey Dixon was enjoying a promising acting career when tragedy struck a couple of years ago.

On Feb. 27, 2016, Mr. Dixon was climbing an icy staircase along Albion Falls in Hamilton when he slipped and fell over a 12-metre cliff. He broke his back, tore his aorta and shattered his left arm. After several surgeries and months in the hospital, Mr. Dixon managed to walk again and has largely recovered. But along with the physical scars, the accident also left him battling depression and anxiety.

He began telling his story about coping with mental health issues, hoping to raise awareness. “Mental health is very overlooked,” he said from his home in Toronto.

A few months ago Mr. Dixon, 23, visited the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and was impressed with its programs and research. He offered to do a fundraising event and last week he organized a gala in Toronto for around 50 people with singer Grace Bakker and former motocross racer Greg Poisson. Mr. Dixon spoke about his struggles along with Mr. Poisson, who has bipolar disorder. The event raised around $1,000 and Mr. Dixon hopes to do more with CAMH.

“It’s never easy for any of us to jump in front of a crowd and share our story,” he said. “It’s a very emotional story and we’re being bluntly honest about what mental health is all about and how we suffer with it every single day.”