A mother's story inspires one man to do more
Sue Klebold’s emotional keynote at the 2017 Breakfast of Champions was an eye opening experience for Ryan Finch. As a father of two young children, he could hear the pain in Sue's voice as she recounted the last conversation with her son Dylan on the morning of the shooting at Columbine High School. Ryan asked himself whether he was doing enough to support the mental health of people around him.
“Dylan was an exemplary child that every parent dreams of,” says Ryan. “But mental illness overtook him in a short period of time, resulting in a horrible decision that his family and the world must live with forever. His mother’s story inspired me and my organization to do more.”
After listening to Sue’s presentation, Ryan and leaders from Finch Auto Group toured St. Joseph’s Parkwood Institute to educate themselves about the realities of mental health. Ryan and his team were compelled to learn how to support those who might be struggling or even too ashamed to talk about their problems.
“It was unbelievable,” says Ryan. “I saw seniors gardening in a therapeutic garden. I saw a group of teenagers reading poems and singing songs in an auditorium as part of their transformational process of healing. And I saw how well these people were getting cared for at St. Joseph’s by committed professionals so it really pushed us to take action. “
Ryan also felt compelled to launch a specialized Employee Assistance Program (EAP) dedicated to 24/7 mental health support for his 500 employees and their families. He believes investing in the mental health of a team, no matter if it is 10 people or 10,000 people, is incredibly important.
Finch Auto Group is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Breakfast of Champions on May 7. The event is a celebration of those making great strides to advance mental health in London and beyond. Approximately 1,200 guests will attend this year’s event with a special keynote from mental health advocate and international bestselling author Mark Lukach.
We are grateful to have the support of Finch Auto Group. Discover more about their commitment to changing the stigma surrounding mental health and why it matters to their team:
Learn more about Breakfast of Champions.