EDMONTON, June 17, 2019 /CNW/ - The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) has awarded Cam McAlpine, APR the 2019 CPRS Shield of Public Service for his outstanding commitment to advocating for greater mental health services and support nationwide, particularly for young Canadians. McAlpine was presented with the award on June 17, the second day of the 2019 CPRS National conference, Evolving Expectations.
Following the death of his 18-year-old daughter, Georgia, to suicide in 2016, McAlpine and his family have spent much of their time honouring her final wish for them to tell the truth about the circumstances surrounding her death, in hopes of starting a dialogue on the importance of greater accessibility to mental health services for young people.
"Receiving this award is extremely humbling to me and my family, and I accept it in my daughter Georgia's name," said McAlpine. "Georgia's last wish was that we tell the truth about why she died, and open up the conversation about mental health. She started that courageous conversation before she died. And while I've been a volunteer all of my adult life, the most meaningful public service I've ever undertaken was to carry on the work Georgia began."
McAlpine was nominated for the award by two fellow members of CPRS Northern Lights who recounted the many ways he's honoured Georgia's request. Examples included, sharing her story on Bell Let's Talk Day, as well as joining the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna and District branch, which would lead to his family's involvement in a $2 million campaign supporting the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. By adding Georgia's voice to the fundraising campaign, the McAlpines not only helped open a new mental health facility nearly a year ahead of schedule, but also continue to share Georgia's message through its ongoing national campaign connecting communities with youth-focused mental health services.
"On behalf of CPRS Northern Lights, it is our absolute pleasure to nominate Cam for his outstanding and self-less dedication to such a personal cause," said nominators Annie Doran and Sarah Zimmerman, APR in a joint statement. "We would like to recognize him for his high calibre of work and devotion to creating more awareness around mental health and improving services for others who struggle with mental health through communications."
The CPRS Shield of Public Service is presented to CPRS members for distinguished and dedicated service in the public interest, over and above what is required by client or employer. The 2019 Shield of Public Service was one of six Major and Special Awards handed out in Edmonton during the three-day conference.
Founded in 1948, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) is a not-for-profit association of professionals dedicated to the practice, management and teaching of public relations and communications. Comprising 14 local societies, CPRS' mission is to build a national public relations and communications management community through professional development and accreditation, collaboration with thought leaders, a commitment to ethics and a code of professional standards, advocacy for the profession, and support to members at every stage of their careers.
SOURCE Canadian Public Relations Society
For further information: Dan LaBelle, Communications Specialist, Canadian Public Relations Society, 416-239-7034 ext. 246, [email protected]