The 2013 IABC Ottawa Excel Awards: Excellence in mental health awareness at The Royal

By: Rebecca Ford


Nicole Loreto and The Royal are breaking through the stigma of mental health, and people are taking notice.

Not only did Loreto and her team take home a coveted Excel Award at last year’s gala, they’ve also been recognized by the community, particularly with regard to their work with the city’s high school population on the subject of suicide prevention and promoting positive mental health.

“We figured mental health was a topic that was becoming mainstream,” said Loreto, vice president of communications and stakeholder relations at The Royal. “We wanted to find a way to galvanize support and get the right information out to youth to break down the stigma.”

Last year’s award-winning campaign Is it just me? was a major stigma buster, said Loreto, and was something that youth could really relate to.

“We really wanted to start changing attitudes about mental health,” she added.

According to Loreto, the campaign has received a positive response from the community’s schools, students, teachers and parents. To top it off, Is it just me? also received top honours from IABC.

“When we got recognition from IABC, it was icing on the cake,” Loreto recalled.

According to Loreto, talking about a subject as delicate as mental health is generally not seen favourably, so when her campaign was recognized by IABC, it was a great feeling.

“It was nice to get recognized for advancing an issue that’s important to everyone,” she said. “We’re so happy to be recognized in terms of the campaign. It validated the work that we do here, reaching out to youth and families.”

Loreto looks forward to once again attending this year’s event, and seeing how well this year’s submission does.

Join The Royal and your fellow colleagues on May 16 for the 2013 IABC Ottawa Excel Awards.

See you on May 16!